21/01/2020 – News / Meat / Game / Sustainability / British / UK / Samworth / Waitrose / BGA / HORECA
HORECA players engaged to bring sustainable game meat to more UK diners
British Game Alliance (BGA) – the not-for-profit organisation working to promote feathered game – has announced a series of collaborations with major players in hospitality and catering, to bring sustainable and ethically sourced game meat to more British consumers, and cater to rising demands.
Game sales in the UK have risen by eight per cent in the last year and now stand at £114 million, with an estimated 14 per cent of the population now regularly consuming game meat.
Waitrose also recently reported soaring interest in feathered game through searches on Waitrose.com: a 43-per-cent increase for partridge, a 36-per-cent increase for pheasant and a 12-per-cent jump in the number of searches for pigeon.
Game innovations from Samworth Brothers
Responding to this rising demand for game in the UK, the BGA has partnered with Samworth Brothers – one of the UK’s largest food producers, boasting an annual turnover of more than £1 billion. The manufacturer’s senior leadership believes there exists a several-million-pounds-a-year opportunity for the firm’s new game range across the Foodservice sector. This, in turn, will allow the BGA to lay down a significant amount of ‘game', in the hundreds of thousands, for totally new markets.
A range of new commercial dishes have been created with Samworth Brothers’ chefs, including a game pie, a game pork pie, and pheasant and fennel sausage roll – developed using ‘BGA-assured’ meat, meaning it has been sourced according to the BGA’s strict regulations. As a result, it is “more sustainable, ethical, and among the best on the market,” the Alliance claims.
These commercial game products will be available to consumers to buy at UK-wide stadiums, large corporations, public service sectors and other food service outlets, sold predominantly through the UK’s leading contract caterers who have also welcomed the innovative game range. Other products are also being developed and trialled.
“Bringing game to the masses”
Thomas Adams, Managing Director of British Game Alliance said his organisation was “hugely proud to be working with such reputable companies in bringing game to the masses in a format like never before”. Mr Adams continued that by using Samworth’s supply into the retail space, his group hoped to significantly ramp up the number of BGA-assured products that were listed, and to get such products into more major retailers alongside those existing food service operators with whom BGA is already partnering.
Nick Anderson, Group Commercial Director for Foodservice at Samworth Brothers, described his business is one that “strives to work with the best British ingredients”, and its chefs were therefore “delighted” to be working in collaboration with the BGA to put sustainable game on the menu with a range of innovative and unique game products. “We think this will resonate well with existing and new consumers,” he added.
“This is exactly what the game sector needs to ensure these great products reach the masses,” remarked Lord Mark Price, former Managing Director at Waitrose. “Innovation and competitive pricing will be leading drivers to growing game sales in the UK. Through the BGA’s work, exciting times lie ahead for the game industry.”
‘Eat Wild’ – from restaurants to stadia
This collaboration comes at a time when the BGA is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its ‘Eat Wild’ marketing campaign – created to raise awareness of feathered game and encourage greater consumption of what its promotes as a “sustainable and healthier alternative to commonly consumed meat”. During British Game Week last year (25th November – 1st December), BGA collaborated with restaurants across the UK to create special game menus serving ‘BGA-assured’ game dishes.
Over the past year, BGA has listed over 120 new stockists, reaching over 3,500 food service outlets including some of the nation’s favourite restaurants, who have created BGA-approved game dishes.
Well-known participating restaurants include Lyle’s, BRAT, Holborn Dining Room, Nobu, The Ned and the Sketch Lecture Room, alongside renowned cooks such as Michel Roux OBE, Calum Franklin and Thomasina Miers OBE.
Pub groups such as Young’s, Thwaites and Duke of Cumberland Arms have also demonstrated support by stocking BGA-approved game products, as has fine food specialists Classic Fine Foods and market leader in the catering industry, Compass Group, alongside major players Aramark and Delaware North.
Football fans around the UK were also treated to BGA-approved dishes served during matches at Reading and Chelsea stadiums in 2019.
Alongside the ‘Eat Wild’ campaign, BGA has introduced the ‘British Game’ Assurance Scheme to give buyers the assurance of traceability, provenance and quality in their game – from egg to plate.