Even though there has been a surge of interest in farming deer in the past couple of years and home production of venison is increasing, experts have predicted that the UK will be importing twice the quantity of venison in five years’ time.
The Scottish Venison Partnership (SVP) has just released estimates showing the total annual UK venison outturn is now around 3,800 tonnes. Approximately 70 per cent of this comes from Scotland’s wild red deer cull with the balance coming from other species and farmed red deer. Imports from New Zealand currently stand at around 900 tonnes with additional venison coming into the UK from Poland, Ireland, Spain and other European countries.
The demand for venison which is regarded as a very healthy red meat has been estimated by SVP to be rising by around 10 per cent year on year. With home production growing by only 5 per cent annually, there will need to be, according to SVP, increased imports unless more venison is produced on farms in this country.
Commenting on the figures, SVP chairman Bill Bewsher said that while UK production is expected to rise to 4,800 tonnes by 2020, in order to meet increased market demand, almost 3,000 tonnes would have to be imported.