Deer conference to debate venison demand

British and European deer farmers will be holding a joint conference in Bedfordshire as a result of the rise in consumer demand for venison.

The conference, held by the British Deer Farms & Parks Association (BDFPA) and the Federation of European Deer Farmers Associations (FEDFA), will aim to educate and encourage farmers and park keepers to help meet global demands.

The two-day programme will provide insight into the market and will see both members and non-members from the UK, Europe and New Zealand.

Representing the deer industry in the UK, BDFPAs chairman Nigel Sampson said: As a meat, venison has a lot going for it. Its gamey flavour is far more interesting than pork or chicken. Gram for gram, it contains less fat than a skinless chicken breast. It has the highest protein and the lowest cholesterol content of any major meat. Its thoroughly sustainable and always free-range. It is, in many ways, the perfect meat, and its a good thing that consumers seem finally to have realised that.

The programme will also see the launch of the BDFPA Park Quality Assurance Scheme and will be addressed by former Agriculture Secretary Sir James Paice.

Jonathan Whitehead from Scottish Food Quality Certification commented: Were excited to launch our Park Quality Assurance Scheme to the conference. Consumers are increasingly demanding full traceability in the food chain and were keen to position venison as a product with full provenance. Total UK sales have more than doubled in the past five years, as British consumers have shown a preference for more unusual meats and more game.