More people will be eating exotic meats such as crocodile, camel and kangaroo this Christmas, which means business is booming for Shropshire company Alternative Meats says co-director Jeanette Edgar (above left) The 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain was a turning point for us because the movement restrictions forced us to source meat from abroad. At that time I was working for the father of fellow co-director Rachel Goodwin (above right), who had a company that promoted ostrich meat farmed in the UK, and as an alternative to ostrich we started offering wild boar from Cornwall and then game. But when we were forced to import ostrich, we realised we could also bring game in from South Africa to pad out the consignment and offer restaurants something exciting and a wider choice. We were then asked for kangaroo and crocodile, which we were able to source, and now we have a wide range of meats from zebra, springbok and bison to kudu, wildebeest and impala in our Safari Selection. Exotic sausages and burgers are very popular, in particular kangaroo, because people are prepared to try unusual products if they are in a familiar form. All of the meat is sourced under the exotic species regulations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and comes from managed herds on estates and parks that are controlled in a sustainable way - just like venison in Scotland. The rosé veal that is one of our bestsellers is RSPCA Freedom Food accredited, and we were recently asked by the Royal Chef to supply Buckingham Palace with some. They said it was very well received. Before we supply a meat, we need to identify something special about it, like the free-range bronze turkeys that were brought up on cherry orchards that we are offering for the first time this Christmas. We are not expensive when you consider that prime Scotch beef can sell for £30/kg, which is well above what we charge for exotic meats, and there is no fat or trimming so it doesn't shrink on the way to the plate. We sell to farm shops, delis, butchers' shops and restaurants as well as direct to the consumer through our website, which now accounts for about 35% of our business, all under the Alternative Meats brand. We are still small, with just the four of us in the company, but turnover is about £275,000 a year and we have just moved into a new 2,000 sq ft premises, which has opened up our horizons. We hope the business will have doubled in size by the end of next year.