Consumers turning to 'healthy' venison

A NORTH YORKSHIRE venison farmer is recording very substantial increases in sales, suggesting that consumers are turning to the meat


Holme Farmed Venison of Sherburn in Elmet is already selling into Asda and Waitrose and has now announced that it has signed up to supply Sainsbury.

Managing Director Nigel Sampson: "Sales increased by around 20 per cent in September then grew by 50 per cent in December. This trend continued in January and we have seen sales increases peak at 75 per cent over the previous year.

"We have also seen the number of units we supply rise by 11,000, which is really encouraging."

Looking at the reasons for the increase, Mr Sampson said: "I think it has been a cumulative effect over the years that is now beginning to be realized by the public. Venison is the healthiest of the red meats. The sausages and burgers we produce are less than two and a half per cent fat.

"Additionally, 15 months ago we moved to a new factory so we are now able to supply a very high class product. There is also the question of availability.

"We are now selling into the supermarkets so people can see our products on the shelves and give them a try."

Mr Sampson said there was no doubt fears over bird flu might have some short term influence over the market. But he added: "Our figures were on the rise long before people started becoming concerned about bird flu."

Dr John Fletcher, chairman of the British Deer Farmers Association, confirmed venision's sales increase. He said: "We are finding that venison is moving into the mainstream."

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