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Cooperative Extension: Livestock

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Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton - The Pros and Cons of Producing Lamb/Mutton for an Ethnic Market

At the start, it is imperative for sheep producers to understand the advantages and drawbacks serving an ethnic market.


  • Price for the product is typically higher.
  • Demand is higher among ethnic consumers due to tradition, custom or religious reasons.
  • Producer could generate additional income.
  • Efficiencies can be increased in production and marketing once a target consumer are identified.
  • When sheep operations increase in number or size, infrastructure is maintained or strengthened.
  • As some market animals are sold at younger ages, the risk of raising lambs may be decreased.
  • A market for cull ewes could develop as the ethic market is identified.


  • Language and cultural differences could present limitations.
  • Producers must learn about numerous ethnicities of the target consumer.
  • Dates and seasons of many holy days and holidays will change with the moon each year.
  • Management systems, methods, breeds, as well as age and size of the market animals might need to be changed in order to meet the market.
  • Marketing methods may need to change.
  • Sales could be limited depending on your location and the ethnic communities near you.
  • Ethnic markets vary from region to region.

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Livestock
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System