Farmers urged to meet rising venison demand

Consumer demand for venison has leapt 25% in the past year, according to industry watchers, with demand outstripping supply.

Now the industry is looking to respond to that increase with the launch of an open day to encourage more farmers and park owners to produce deer for consumption.

The British Deer Farms & Parks Association (BDFPA) will be hosting an open day at Harewood House, near Leeds, West Yorkshire on the 14 June to educate and encourage farmers and park keepers to rear deer. 

The day-long programme will give an overview of the market, details of fencing and herd start-up, a seminar on deer park management issues and a tour of the Harewood Estate.

Nigel Sampson, vice chair of the BDFPA, said: “Venison demand is currently outstripping supply for a number of years, and we see the rise in demand for this healthy meat as a long-term consumer trend. The recent shortage in stocks of UK venison has highlighted a real need for more stock. The country is full of traditional parks which have deer that could become part of this trade.

“UK parkland is ideal for deer farming, and the addition of deer to this often under-used land can supply an additional income for the estate or park, as well as enhancing the local landscape. Grazing deer are not only a beautiful addition to the countryside, they play a rightful place in the food cycle.

“The Association sees deer farms and parks as natural partners in the marketplace, providing a consistent supply of high-quality venison to meet a rapidly growing market for venison. As an organisation we’re here to offer support and practical advice to parkland owners and farmers helping them to profitably supply the increasingly strong demand for venison.”

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