A Dundee-based venison supplier is pledging to fill any gaps on supermarket shelves caused by poultry shortages in the lead-up to Christmas.
With news of labour and product shortages in poultry, alongside health and price concerns of red meat – venison could be the answer.
That is the view of Christian Nissen, managing director of Dundee-based Highland Game.
He sees the Christmas period as a key opportunity for restaurants.
He said: “All we are hearing about right now is shortages in supermarkets and in the supply chain.
“We believe there is real potential for venison to help fill that gap.
“If retailers, restaurateurs, butchers and the public get behind venison and celebrate this amazing homegrown product, it could help meet an urgent need.”
Highland Game supplies a number of supermarket chains and is calling on butchers, restaurateurs and the public to support the sector by embracing homegrown food.
The firm is aiming to capitalise on poultry shortages.
A sales hike and new contract
The business has grown significantly in the last 12 months.
Its retail sales are up 16% year-on-year – outstripping general grocery growth at 11% and red meat growth at 13%.
The firm, based at Dryburgh Industrial Estate, has agreed a new supply contract with Forestry England.
That has potential to boost volume by 15%.
This builds on the business’ existing strong partnerships with Forestry Land Scotland and more than 250 independent estates.
Highland Game believes that suppliers, retailers and businesses can work in partnership to keep wild deer numbers stable.
It also aims to satisfy customer demand and tackle supply chain problems.
Mr Nissen continued: “The upward trend in retail trade shows that consumer demand for venison is definitely increasing.
“We believe butchers and restaurants can capitalise on this, particularly at Christmas when the supply chain challenges for other meats may not have been ironed out.
“Over recent years we have been aware of the obstacles around Brexit and how that would impact supplying our neighbours in Germany and France.
“As a result, we have concentrated on the home market, de-prioritising the export market because we know what is good for them is better for us.
“We believe venison is a homegrown, sustainable and healthy solution to shortages.
“We hope retailers and particularly the food service sector will switch on and discover the huge potential of this plentiful meat.”