British game meat is to be exported internationally for the first time as Hong Kong signs a trade deal to buy UK grouse.
Later this month, birds shot on British moors will be flown over after the Government backed a trade deal negotiated by the British Game Alliance.
250,000 grouse, partridge and pheasant are now set to be airfreighted to high-end restaurants in Hong Kong and Macao with frozen ones shipped to retail outlets.
Soon, fresh game birds will be sent across the globe, as Canada and Japan hold discussions with the new game regulator. This initiative has been backed by Defra and the Department for International Trade.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice, said: “This is a welcome opportunity for the game meat industry and a further demonstration of the demand for Britain’s high-quality produce.”
“As we leave the EU we will continue to support our food and farming industry to grow and sell more to markets around the globe.”
The deal the British Game Alliance brokered is with the luxury meat purveyor Sutherland, which supplies high-end hotels including the Mandarin Oriental and Grand Hyatt.
Romeo Alfonso, Managing Director of Sutherland’s MeatLab explained: “Here in Hong Kong our high-end consumers consider British game meat to be exotic with a unique taste. They like the idea of eating birds which have been free to live wild around the British countryside.”
It is much easier now for game to be exported since the British Game Alliance launched last year, as it acts as a regulator and marketing board. This means game birds can be traced back to where and when they were shot, and ensure they meet industry standards.
So far nearly 600 estates representing over a third of the UK feathered game sector have become members since it was founded 16 months ago.
Lincolnshire Game is processing the birds for the Hong Kong Market.
Simon Wilkinson and Tristan Kirk, who run the company, said: "What is unfolding is the modernisation of our sector, to fall in line with other meat sectors. For too long there has been too much variability in the quality of product from sporting estates."