What is SQWV? SQWV stands for ‘Scottish Quality Wild Venison’, and is the industry’s own safeguard that the meat that reaches the consumer has been procured and handled to the highest standards every step of the way – from ‘hill to plate’.
The SQWV Scheme’s aims are to ensure that:
- Scotland’s deer populations are being managed humanely
- the stalkers and gamekeepers managing the deer are competent
- carcases dispatched and transported to the larder are well handled
- high food hygiene standards of carcase handling and larder storage
- traceability of the venison from hill to plate.
The Scheme benefits its members by:
- reinforcing the quality image of Scottish Wild Venison
- meeting SQWV standards helps them meet food hygiene laws
- enabling them to demonstrate an understanding of food hygiene laws to authorities, venison processors and retailers
- reducing inspection frequency from local authorities as they recognise that SQWV members have high standards and represent low risk
- demonstrating ‘quality assured’ can help secure funding from upgrading/development of game processing facilities. The SQWV Scheme which was launched in 2002 has also been implemented to counter negative effects that issues such as foot and mouth could have on Scotland’s venison industry
SQWV is relevant to producers – that is the estates and deer forests from which wild venison is procured – and to processors. It is voluntary, and not all producers are members of it. However, more than 60 percent of all Scottish venison is now produced under the SQWV scheme.
The SQWV Scheme applies only to Scottish wild venison. Quality Assured Farmed Venison is the equivalent for venison produced by deer farmers in Scotland and across the rest the UK.