What a year we have had! Since launching 19 months ago, our team has been working hard to not only support our shoot assurance scheme, but to secure new markets for game meat across the world. In promoting game to the wider public through the our Eat Wild campaign, we have stimulated people’s awareness and interest in game. Our initiative compliments and works in conjunction with other industry bodies such as BASC’s ‘Taste of Game’ and the Countryside Alliance’s ‘Game to Eat.’ We have continued to target industry press communicating important messages to the shooting community and our stakeholders on the progress of our assurance scheme, audit and new sales wins for game meat.
Read on to see what we got up to in 2019…
- Outreach in the Capital
In 2019, we kicked things off in the New Year by hitting the streets of Central London to promote game meat to the general public. The BGA team handed out 20,000 pheasant recipes flyers, promoting the great health benefits and different types of game readily available.
- National Shooting Events
We are lucky to have met many of our supporters and shoot members in person at events such as the British Shooting Show in February, the GWCT Scottish Game Fair and the Game Fair at Hatfield House in July. It is always a pleasure to use these events as an opportunity to listen and learn from our members as well as introduce new people to the delicious, simple and different ways of serving British game meat.
- Launching the BGA’s Commercial Products
A key event for the BGA this year saw the launch of our twelve commercial game products. Launched on 12th June at The Fable in Farringdon, 130 guests from the food industry enjoyed the opportunity to sample the new products, cooked on the night by the BGA’s Head of Business Development, Leon Davies. Joined by wholesalers, contract caterers, chefs, and restaurateurs, Lord Mark Price, who was the Managing Director of Waitrose and Minster for Trade and Investment, and now BGA Ambassador, spoke during the evening with a speech on the status of the game meat market, opportunities available from a retailer’s perspective and the BGA’s objectives. These new commercial products include the likes of Panko Pheasant Goujons, Keepers Pie, Hunters Ham and Pulled Pheasant thigh, which the BGA have developed with leading food industry development chefs to suit modern demands and seek to introduce game to a wider audience.
- Hong Kong, Japan and Macau
The BGA’s sales team flew to Hong Kong and Japan to promote game meat overseas and drive new markets for game. We secured our first major overseas trade agreement for 250,000 birds to be exported for use in retail and high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau this season. The deal with the luxury meat purveyor Sutherland will be for a mix of pheasant, partridge and grouse for this coming season.
- The Glorious Twelfth Grouse Run
On the Glorious Twelfth, we headed up to a BGA assured estate in Yorkshire for a walked up day to shoot, cook and serve fresh Grouse to the Estate. Leon was lucky enough to shoot the first bird of the day, at around 10.30am, soon enough preparing a brace to be cooked over fire. Leon cooked a number of different creations, showcasing the true versatility of the meat, including Chipotle Grouse Breast, Moroccan Spiced Grouse Breast and Jamaican Jerk Grouse thigh served with corn and purple stem broccoli – streamed live to the @britishgamealliance and @letseatwild followers.
- Let’s Eat Wild
Following the development of new and exciting game meat recipes through our Eat Wild Campaign, the BGA had these professionally filmed as a step by step ‘How To’ guide to make cooking with game even easier. Recipes included Pheasant & Leek Gnocchi Bake, Moroccan Pheasant Tagine and Southern Fried Partridge. You can view these over on the @letseatwild Instagram, a first for game meat.
- Great British Game Week 2019
More recently, Great British Game Week kicked off on Monday 25th November to champion game for its culinary versatility, outstanding health benefits and sustainable credentials. The week was founded by BASC’s ‘Taste of Game’ and Countryside Alliance’s ‘Game to Eat’ initiatives and is supported by the shooting and food communities. The BGA team hit the streets of Bristol, serving over 4,000 portions of their commercial game products throughout the day, while speaking to members of the public who have never tried game before, engaging with social influencers and talking to local chefs and restaurants who all came and tried the products.
The BGA also secured an exciting collaboration with gourmet kebab restaurant: Le Bab Soho as well as well-known eateries such as Ottolenghi’s Fitzrovia restaurant ROVI, Holborn Dining Room and The Dundas Arms in Kintbury. This resulted in huge amounts of support across social media, reaching new audiences through the businesses respective customer base. In total, the BGA’s press activity reached millions of people over the course of game week, which is fantastic, and we continue to reach the British public through radio, print, social media and TV.
Coverage highlights from the week included, The Telegraph, HELLO!, Foodism, Evening Standard, Esquire, Great British Food Magazine, Fieldsports TV, The Field and Shooting UK.
Looking Toward 2020
Tom Adams, Managing Director of the BGA,
“This year, we were proud to succeed in getting game into some of the world’s largest foodservice organisations, contract caterers and export markets. Next year, we will be driving retail; focusing on getting game meat in different formats onto the shelves of supermarkets.
We also hope to reach 1,000 shoot members, along with a successful first year of the game farm audits by the end of the 2021 season, with the BGA team continuing to work hard to communicate why best practice and credible self-regulation are important for us all. It’s been a fantastic year for the BGA, and I am so proud of our hardworking team, and to see what 2020 will bring”