The reason for the shortage is twofold: Some 50,000 pregnant goats and sheep were culled during a scare over a Q fever epidemic on farms -- and in part because the disease can spread to humans. Also, demand for goat cheese has increased in China and fetches a much higher price there, prompting European producers to ship their goods there instead, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
Critics charged the claims of short supply are a ploy by high-end manufacturers to fetch higher prices from grocers across the United Kingdom who don't want to run out of the item at precisely the time of years its demand increases.
Howard Newmarch of specialty cheesemaker Eurilait said it isn't an idle threat and some customers will likely have to go without goat cheese at holiday parties.
"Inevitably there will be allocations to ensure that customers are supplied in part, but not totally what they want," he said.
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