IT'S been a tough 12 months for Giffard goat producer Heather Osborn.
But Heather's passion for the industry has not dimmed and last weekend she appeared at the Taste of Melbourne festival along side a renowned chef to promote goat meat.
Twelve months ago Gippsland business went into freefall when the Trafalgar abattoir she used to process most of her premium goat meat was shut down.
The LE Giles facility was closed by regulator PrimeSafe after a video of alleged animal-welfare breaches at the abattoir was released.
The two alternative abattoirs in Orbost and Kyneton were not viable for small orders.
Heather said this had cost her about $60,000 in lost income.
That in turn meant she couldn't afford casual labour in the kidding season, and had to work extensive hours.
"I was in a state of shock and disbelief that all my years of work could be shut down by things out of my control," she told a food safety parliamentary inquiry last month.
She considered getting out the business but persisted and, in June, Warragul's Radford Meats said it would start slaughtering goat.
That move involved a costly infrastructure upgrade at the firm's expense. Last Sunday, she promoted the virtues of the low fat and low cholesterol goat meat at the Melbourne event, saying she believed goat was the most sustainable of all red meat.
"Goats are categorically the most sustainable animals in terms of looking after the land, they don't eat (pasture) to the ground like sheep, nor do they have the water requirements of cattle," she said.