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From stalker to butcher is the focus for Scottish Venison Day


By David Porter

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Scottish Venison Day which takes place on Thursday, September 4 will be marked this year by the launch of an initiative to promote the short supply chain from stalker or estate direct to their local butcher or restaurant.

Short supply chain venison offers a local option.
Short supply chain venison offers a local option.

Legislation allows the supply of small quantities of venison from the stalker within their own or their neighbouring Local Authority area or 50km, whichever is the greatest.

A recap of the relevant rules and Best Practice Guidance for this short supply chain are being made available to stalkers on the Scottish Venison Association website.

Also available is new information for butchers including two new videos, one highlighting basic butchery of a roe carcass and the second featuring how butchers can add value to venison in the shop.

The Scottish Venison Association is also offering an introduction service for local stalkers to local butchers and vice versa, and free listings on its Where to buy venison section of the website www.scottish-venison.info

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon who launched the Scottish venison strategy Beyond the Glen on Scottish Venison Day two years ago said: “As we move into Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, Scottish Venison Day gives us all an opportunity to celebrate and promote a quality, local food product.

“It is important that the venison sector finds new ways to strengthen and grow, particularly as we seek a green recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As highlighted in the venison strategy, improving supply chains is crucial to the development of the sector.

“This is a very welcome initiative that I am happy to support and I hope more people will consider trying locally sourced Scottish venison.”

Bill Bewsher, Chairman, Scottish Venison Association, said: “This is a first-class initiative particularly at this time.

"More applicable to lowland Scotland than to upland estates, although relevant to them also, this initiative is designed to loosen up the short supply chain between stalker and butcher, to cut food miles, to simplify traceability, and to enable locally sourced, healthy meat to be sold locally.

“Whilst not solving the overbearing problems that the deer management sector is facing right now due to the Covid-19 crisis and the impact it has had on the restaurant, catering, and food service/events routes to market which will take time to recover fully, this should relieve a little of the pressure and facilitate supply to local specialist outlets.”

Gordon King, executive manager, Scottish Craft Butchers, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative which allows local butcher shops to connect with stalkers and sporting estates in their area.

"This gives us the opportunity to source venison in a short and direct supply chain.

"Venison is one of Scotland’s truly natural products direct from the glen.

"In the past few months consumers have really focussed on shopping local and buying local.

"This also allows them to appreciate that they will also be supporting local businesses and jobs close to home.”

More information about the Local Stalker – Local Butcher initiative can be found on the Scottish Venison Association website at:

https://www.scottish-venison.info/butchery-and-cutting/



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