Scottish venison strategy unveiled

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Bob Prentice of Downfield Farms (left), minister for rural affairs and the natural environment Marie Goujon, and chairman of the Scottish Venison Partnership Bill Bewsher
Bob Prentice of Downfield Farms (left), minister for rural affairs and the natural environment Marie Goujon, and chairman of the Scottish Venison Partnership Bill Bewsher
Nine key areas of growth have been identified in the Scottish venison sector as part of a new strategy.

The areas include skills-building initiatives, a fund to support new entrants to venison farming and the need for further research and development.

Announcing the strategy, minister for rural affairs Mairi Gougeon said: “I am delighted to help to launch this strategy for this exciting, burgeoning sector in Scotland’s food and drink success story.

Venison is a premium food, renowned for its quality, provenance and health credentials, and its reputation continues to rise in both domestic and international markets.

‘Worth around £100m a year’

We know the venison market in the UK alone is estimated to be worth around £100m a year and demand has been increasing year on year.

“With this strategy in place, the sector in Scotland now has a fantastic opportunity to meet rising demand, displace imports and target new market opportunities.     

“I welcome that the industry has come together to develop a plan that will build on the strong foundations put in place by the venison pioneers in Scotland.

“Deer farming and management play a significant role in supporting a thriving and sustainable rural economy and this strategy will support our shared wider ambitions to grow it.”

‘Very significant encouragement’

Bill Bewsher, chairman of The Scottish Venison Partnership, said: “Venison producers and processors in Scotland, both wild and farmed, will take very significant encouragement from this new strategy.​ 

“We are exceptionally fortunate that, on the one hand, we have a rich asset in our wild deer as a sustainable source of healthy food and, on the other, increasing enthusiasm and undoubted potential to grow our farmed venison sector to meet expanding markets both in the UK and elsewhere.

“This strategy points all of us in the right direction with a set of common goals for 2030 and we are grateful for the additional support forthcoming from government in helping us to meet them.”

Related topics: Business News, Supply Chain, Meat & poultry

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