About the Scottish Venison Association

The Scottish Venison Association (SVA), formerly the Scottish Venison Partnership, brings together private and public sector, wild and farmed venison producer and venison processor interests.

The Association was formed at the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Venison Partnership at Birnam on 25 April 2019. It is a not-for-profit body.

The Association is a signatory to the Our Common Ground Accord

The principle aim of the Association is to bring the separate strands of the Scottish venison sector together to build and secure ‘Scottish Venison’ as a core-value brand. More specifically the Association’s aims and objectives are:

  • to oversee delivery of the refreshed Scottish Venison strategy to 2030 (see below).
  • to increase consumer and market demand for Scottish venison both at a local and national level.
  • to promote co-operation, good practice, efficiency and food safety across the industry, building confidence in the brand and ensuring continuing demand.
  • to recognise the contribution of Scottish venison to existing and new sustainable rural development opportunities.
  • to explore and develop new opportunities to secure the future supply of venison.
  • to liaise with Scottish, UK and European Governments, and their respective departments and agencies, regarding Scottish venison issues.
  • to coordinate and communicate sector views and developments both internally and externally.

SVA structure
The structure of SVA is shown on this diagram.

Scottish Venison strategy
The Scottish Venison Strategy to 2030 was updated in November 2023 as a review of the original strategy Beyond the Glen which was launched in 2018. The refreshed strategy is available online as a pdf here or in flipbook version here.

Scottish Venison Summit, Birnam, 20 November 2023
An industry summit was held at Birnam, Perthshire on 20 November 2023 to launch the refreshed Scottish Venison Strategy. A report of the summit is available here and presentations from that event are available below as pdfs:

Scotland’s Food and Drink strategy and latest insight for venison
Carol Saunders, Head of Insight, Scotland Food & Drink
Our refreshed Scottish Venison Strategy
Dick Playfair, Scottish Venison
Scotland’s venison infrastructure and capacity
John Forteith, JF Consulting and Fergus Younger, SAOS
An upland perspective
Tom Turnbull, Chair, ADMG
Opportunities for the AGHEs
Christian Nissen and Euan Ross, Highland Game
Field to Foodbank
SJ Hunt, The Country Food Trust
Venison and the Affric Highlands Project
Nicola Williamson, Trees for Life
How we did it
Tom Rust and Oli Whyte, Perthshire Game
Spread the word!
Tim Maddams, chef, venison ambassador, author and freelance foodie

Scottish Venison Association – Annual Report 2023
The 4th annual report is available
Scottish Venison Association – Annual Report 2022
The third SVA annual report is available.
Scottish Venison Association – Annual Report 2021
The second SVA annual report is available.
Scottish Venison Association – Annual Report 2020
The first SVA annual report is available.

The Carbon Footprint of Scottish Wild Venison
A report by SAC Consulting, published February 2024, is available here.

Scottish Venison and the Country Food Trust
Scottish Venison has agreed a ‘supply template’ with the Country Food Trust (CFT), the charity that produces high protein nutritious meals and donates them to people in need throughout the UK. This utilises wild venison coming from Scotland’s uplands, lowlands and woodlands reaching food banks, food kitchens and other charity outlets.
See the supply template here, launched 4 September 2023.

Available Market research
Meat and Poultry Deep Dive report (inc game and venison) December 2023 from The Knowledge Bank here
The latest data for the UK retail venison sector, April 2023, from The Knowledge Bank is available here.

The MFP Report from Kantar (12 weeks to 2 October 2022) says:
“Of all the Fresh Primary Proteins, only Other Red Meat (eg Venison) has managed to grow volume +9.2%, and this could be driven by the cost of living crisis as it is one of the most competitively priced proteins at £5.18 per kilo and one of the least inflated proteins with prices growing at 2.0%.”

Venison Category Performance (total GB and Scotland) from The Knowledge Bank, 22 June 2021.

Headlines from the research (to March 2020) on the UK retail venison market and attitudinal research to venison undertaken in the UK by Kantar and 56 Degrees North are available as an infographic. This research was commissioned by SAOS and funded by the Scottish Government.

Scotland’s wild deer, venison production and greenhouse gas emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions, carbon and the climate emergency, published June 2022
A Statement of Intent by the Scottish Venison Association

Scottish Venison Short Supply Chain Group – Report 2021
A short term working group was set up in January 2021 to explore the potential of short local supply chains and to investigate a geography-based scheme to implement cooperatively owned and operated chills/larders to service local markets. This group produced its final report in March 2021.

Scottish Venison local chills/processing pilot project
SVA has secured funding from the Scotland Food & Drink Covid Recovery Fund to specifically support the development of local chills and/or primary processing.  The aim is to test the feasibility of how such units may further enhance the capacity and capability of the sector to supply top quality venison either directly to the consumer, or to added value processors for further processing. Potentially up to three projects could be supported from the fund as part of a pilot exercise. This scheme has now closed.
For more information use links below.
Criteria for applications and information in addition to questionnaire (docx)
Questionnaire (docx)
The closing date for applications was Friday 12 November 2021.

Recommended methods and cooking times for meat
A comprehensive guide from Scottish Craft Butchers for you to download here.

Scottish Deer Health Survey 2017-18

The risk of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) contamination in wild venison
Known to many as the Scottish Deer Health Survey this Scottish Government and Food Standards Scotland-funded report addresses the knowledge gaps and allows us better understanding of the risk of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) contamination of wild venison.

Although the prevalence of STEC O157 in wild deer is low, the report found that when discovered, it is the strain associated with the most severe forms of human disease. Therefore, adherence to strict hygiene practices from cull to final product by all practitioners are strongly recommended in its conclusions.

More information on the FSS website.

Note: SVA does not give professional advice.

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