Scottish family venison processing company Stagison has opened a new £500,000 facility in Fife, creating new jobs and prospects for the area.
The 3,700 sq ft facility includes high performance deer handling systems, inspection and care pens, a new concept abattoir, adapted especially for the wellbeing of deer and production lines for meat, offal and by products as well as a butchery and packaging plant for preparing new products for market.
Opened by the Prentice family, the facility has a reputation for its special adaptations on animal care and handling to ensure the highest quality produce from the healthiest of animals.
The project was funded with the help of the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the EU, and is set to bring over £1m in sales back to the Scottish food sector.
However, in spite of its forecast to process almost 200 tonnes of venison in the next year, concerns lie with the need for more venison farmers to come forward with livestock to increase this supply.
The Prentice's are working with the Venison Advisory to encourage more Scottish Farmers in to the high value business of deer farming to enable the new plant to meet consumer demands. Currently a third of the venison the UK consumes is imported, shipped in from as far afield as New Zealand.
Richard Lochhead, former Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs commented: "Scotland's venison sector has yet to realise its full potential and the Scottish Government is committed to developing that promise and securing a sustainable future for the industry."
Scotland's deer farms currently only produce around 2% of the total Scottish venison output of around 3,500 tonnes per year. The Scottish Government's target is to produce an additional 1,000 tonnes within the next three years.
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