By Dick Playfair of The Scottish Venison Association

The UK retail market for venison is growing and there’s every opportunity to increase this as consumers embrace the venison story and its health qualities. Supplementing supply from UK and Scottish farms there should be opportunities for processors of SQWV assured wild venison to also make significant inroads into the retail market.

Ongoing volatility across the restaurant, catering, food service and events sectors due to Covid has returned. Consequently, we must keep exploring new opportunities and routes to market, local sales, reducing food miles, public sector supply, and encouraging development of new products.

The wild venison industry is producing a ‘statement of intent’ outlining its ambition for wild deer, deer management and venison production to step up their drive towards net zero with an ambitious target for this.

We must reinvigorate interest in our farmed deer sector which slowed as a potential new business stream for farms and estates due to Covid whilst those who have diversified already are now seeing the benefits, especially with the retail drive to buy British.

Quality must underpin everything. The Scottish Quality Wild Venison scheme is under new management and the push is on for wider recognition of SQWV and its value from producer through to the final customer.