Two Dundee firms have collaborated on a tasty charity initiative to highlight the plight of forgotten land workers.
Highland Game and Scott Brothers Butchers wanted to raise funds for deer stalkers working in Tayside who have been impacted by Covid-19.
Stalkers and ghillies have missed out on important income with hunting and shooting parties unable to travel to Scotland due to the pandemic.
Highland Game, one of the key customers, has seen its volumes drop due to the closure of the hospitality industry, although it also has a strong retail business.
It will supply venison free of charge to Scott Brothers who will use it to create pies, which go on sale today.
All proceeds will go to the Gamekeepers Wildlife Trust charity.
Lower volumes of venison
Euan Ross, sales and marketing manager at Highland Game, said: “It has been a very difficult and unprecedented time for everyone.
“The venison food chain has been equally affected with the doors to our biggest market, the hospitality and export sector, firmly closed shut.
“Due to the diversity of our business and the efforts of our staff, we have been able to adapt, fight back from a Covid outbreak and to continue serving venison to those that have been able to be open throughout the last year.
“However, this has resulted in a significant decrease in the volumes that we normally handle.
“The costs of servicing our business whilst running at less than half our normal turnover, with the added costs of social distancing measures that we have had to implement to keep our workforce safe through the period of Covid, has been extremely challenging.
“For many years we have worked closely with Scott Brothers, so the opportunity to give something back on a local level is a very rewarding one.
“The Gamekeepers Wildlife Trust is a charity that engages with the unsung heroes in our industry, the deer stalkers, who supply our markets with the right deer.
“Their actions help protect the rich biodiversity of our glens and forests and the long-term future of our wild herds in Angus and across Scotland.”
Land workers’ vital role
Scott Brothers Butchers are also supplying their skills and ingredients free of charge. The pies will be sold in packs of four for £5.
Scott Jarron, co-owner of Scott Brothers, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been asked by Christian Nissen and the team at Highland Game to help highlight the plight that some forgotten land workers are going through.
“We understand the vital role they have played in supporting estates across Scotland to raise the profile of venison as a healthy and tasty red meat, but also to support them financially so that the lands that we enjoy are managed responsibly.
“We hope our customers can dig deep to support us with our fundraising efforts.”