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Highland Game Takes Scottish Venison Industry forward

July 2010

Highland Game, Scotland’s leading venison specialist, has purchased the UK’s largest Venison and Game processor business from Rick Bestwick Ltd, based in Chesterfield, securing the long term future for Scottish venison. The takeover will be effective from 1st July 2010.

The takeover will push Highland Game into number one position in the UK, creating wonderful opportunities for venison in Scotland.

Christian Nissen, Highland Game Owner and Managing Director, said, “With the purchase of the Rick Bestwick business and other investments, Highland Game has a great opportunity to consolidate, ensuring quality and efficiency for the future. It really is good news for the industry.”

“The key to success is to have sustainable growth. We very much look forward to welcoming new suppliers as well as continuing with our loyal and conscientious suppliers. The takeover is a unique opportunity to develop our business on successful past performance and I am personally very proud to be a part in the future development of the business.”

Once thought of as food for the rich and royal, venison can now be enjoyed by everyone in Scotland and the whole of the UK. This is greatly due to the efforts of Christian Nissen.

Highland Game’s clear strategy from the outset was to market and promote Scottish Venison. Christian Nissen was a keen and enthusiastic 26-year-old when he bought Highland Game in 1997. Looking to become a leading title within the industry, he made it his duty to find out exactly what the customer wanted.

From research into the UK market, Nissen discovered that customers wanted good quality, natural meat. In order to satisfy these demands, Highland Game source deer that is free to roam the ScottishHighlands and forests throughout the UK in their natural habitat. Although, when demand is high and supply is low, Highland Game must import Venison, primarily from New Zealand, to fulfill the order book.

At the same time, the company has taken a number of initiatives to encourage Scottish Estates, other landowners and managers to engage into large scale deer farming and ranching again, with a view to satisfy all year round demand for Scottish Venison. They will continue to reduce New Zealand imports as they aim to focus on local supply, sustainable production and reduce food miles.

The company’s dedication to quality and natural food has secured contracts from top retailers such as Waitrose, ASDA, TESCO, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s who have helped make it the huge success that it is today. All in all, Highland Game supplies 560 stores daily, nationwide, 12 months a year, to meet the high demands of the modern consumer. Highland Game also supply to butchers, wholesalers, restaurants and delicatessens throughout the UK.

With this new takeover, Highland Game has also established a long term supply agreement with Forestry Commission Scotland which will allow Highland Game to build a stronger, better and longer relationship with customers.

From hill to plate, Highland Game’s award-winning venison is now exactly where it should be - at the very top of the market which will ensure a very exciting future for Scottish Venison.