Tom’s blog: Polishing venison’s halo
Farmed venison sales via supermarkets increased by 11 per cent year-on-year to £14.4 million in 2019, according to a Farmers Guardian report (8 May 2020). One-third of sales is attributed to Waitrose.
But before too many ambitious expansion plans are hatched, here’s a note of caution from someone I know in food marketing: Just bear in mind what’s happening in the UK beef market, where the supply available to buyers from UK production and imports is ahead of demand. The consequences? Meat processors hold all the cards, paying ex-farm prices at which all but the most efficient beef farmers are losing money.
Clearly venison’s appeal to discerning diners is its good name as an ultra-heathy meat with fabulous eating quality. But we shouldn’t expect this to remain so automatically or forever.
To protect venison’s appeal, a growing number of progressive farms are polishing its halo by using supplements of essential trace elements for health protection and maximum nutrient utilisation from grass. The article alongside gives a four-seasons summary of how and why.
Meanwhile in human health, you’re probably aware that selenium, for example, is recognised for its antioxidant properties and a critical role in immunity. Like me, you may also have heard that selenium supplementation can improve meat’s flavour. How can we help continue the increase in venison sales? Can our product be made even better? Of course it can.