Hospitality Magazine is reporting on the sad news that the paddock to plate cafe, Gippy Goat is closing after harassment from vegan extremists.
The owners of the Cafe, on the grounds of their goat farm, announced the closure on Facebook. They reported that staff have been subjected to daily threats and harassment by phone and that they couldn’t ask them to continue in good conscience. They were targetted on social media with negative reviews. Eight staff members have lost their jobs because of the closure. The owners, John and Penny Gommans felt that the cafe was no longer a safe venue for their staff.
In December, 70 activists stormed the farm and stole 3 goats and a lamb.
The harassment on social media went so far as to targetting customers who had posted about the positive experience that they had at the farm, according to a Weekly Times story.
Risks for Paddock to Plate Restaurants
The closure comes after activists were fined $1 for breaking biosecurity laws after stealing 3 goats and a lamb. There was no support for the cafe, despite the ongoing harassment that occurred. In fact, some of the defendants were seen gloating about the lack of consequences for their actions.
Paddock to Plate has been a popular Restaurant Unique Selling Proposition for many restaurants.
A quick review of the Gippy Goats Facebook page shows what seems to be a well thought out response to the actions of the activists, with their posts getting an overwhelmingly positive response. Despite this, the lack of regularity support meant that the owners felt they were no longer able to continue with the business.
The impact is the loss of 8 jobs from Yarragon and surrounds. It also means that a farm that had diversified into a cafe with a paddock to plate approach has made an investment for which it will no longer receive a return. It also means that other business owners are less likely to invest in similar opportunities
Video of the goats being stolen from the farm.