Early versions of the Government's 'Food Strategy' are reported to have recommended an "increase...Read more
Scottish Venison is engaging with The Country Food Trust (CFT) to maximise the amount of wild venison coming from Scotland’s uplands, lowlands and woodlands that reaches food banks, food kitchens and other charity outlets. The move has been welcomed by the Scottish Countryside Alliance.
Venison producers (deer managers) donate carcasses which are then processed through Scottish game dealers and processors for supply to The Country Food Trust. The venison is then distributed via CFT in Scotland either through CFT’s own venison ready meals or direct to charity kitchens.
The move comes as the deer sector responds to calls from NatureScot to increase its cull by some 50,000 additional carcasses. This, Scottish Venison argues, will ensure everything is put to ‘good use’.
Richard Cooke of Scottish Venison said: “We have been in discussion with the Country Food Trust for some time to set up a system whereby the supply of wild venison to the charity sector can be facilitated and encouraged, should estate owners, forestry companies and others wish to donate to help in the fight against food poverty. What has been developed is a very simple process that will enable this healthy protein to reach people who need it.”
SJ Hunt, Chief Executive, The Country Food Trust, said: “By working with estates and deer managers, we hope this initiative sees the necessary cull be used for the good of feeding Scottish people. The process of providing locally reared meat to the local community is a sustainable and ethical way of making sure the cull is utilised to feed people in need. We are delighted to be working with Scottish Venison to promote this initiative and call on all involved in deer management to get in touch.”
Jake Swindells, Director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance said: "The collaboration between Scottish Venison and The Country Food Trust is a magnificent opportunity to put into action something that has been a topic of discussion for many years. With the number of deer in Scotland being culled likely to significantly increase over the coming months, it is a very welcome partnership and one that has the full support of the SCA."
"Venison, as a healthy and sustainable source of protein, should be widely available and affordable, but this project will ensure that those who need it most have access to the best quality food", he added.