New call for increased venison production

Scotland needs a dramatic upswing in deer farm numbers to meet venison demand, it has been claimed.

The Scottish Venison Partnership said this week that if things do not change the nation will miss out an ever increasing market for this food product.

The group, which represents Scotland’s venison industry, claimed the country needs an extra 500 deer farms to meet demand.

It has also commissioned a study into the feasibility of large scale venison parks in an attempt to address the shortage of home produced venison, and is advocating the promotion of roe venison, in addition to the more traditional red deer venison, to boost supply.

Venison sales across the UK grew from £32m in 2006 to £43m in 2009, an increase of over 34% in three years.

Stephen Gibbs, chairman of the Scottish Venison Partnership, said: “We have a huge opportunity here to capitalise on a growing demand, not just in the UK but globally too, where Scottish venison is seen as a world-class high-quality food.

“In Scotland we have been eating venison long before our reliance on beef, lamb, pork or chicken, and if we can move up several gears on the production front we can ensure a consistent supply in the future.”

Once again 4 September marks ‘Eat Scottish Venison Day’, and many restaurants, pubs, hotels and shops across the whole of the UK are making sure that Scottish Venison features highly for then, including Vintage Inns, Whitbread Inns, Sainsbury’s and Punch Taverns, with special venison dishes on the menu of many hotels and restaurants UK wide.

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