ASSURANCE SCHEME FAQ's

What is the purpose of the ‘British Game’ Assurance Scheme?

  • The purpose of the BGA Shoot Standards is to provide assurance to consumers
    about the marketing of game and ethical issues relating to game production. This will
    provide confidence to consumers in the provenance of their food and help the BGA
    achieve its objective to increase the consumption of game meat.

What benefits will this offer me/the sector?

  • Increasing consumer confidence in the ethical production of game and increasing its
    consumption will add value to the whole sector from both a reputational and
    economic perspective.

 

  • Individual Scheme members who participate and are approved under the Scheme
    rules will be able to showcase they are operating to best practice and proactively
    market their Scheme membership through use of the BGA’s ‘British Game’ logo;
    demonstrating that they operate their business with integrity; increase the value of
    their shot game; and finally, can provide confidence to consumers that the game
    they sell is safe to eat and produced from animals that have been reared to a high
    standard.

Who should consider joining?

  • The BGA was set up to encompass all shoots of all sizes, so as to create a united
    self-regulating industry from top to bottom.

What do the Scheme standards require?

  • The scheme’s Shoot Standards have been drawn down from the Code of Good
    Shooting Practice with relevance to game marketing and consumer confidence,
    shoots are expected to follow these standards. The BGA’s Shoot Standards require
    participants to demonstrate compliance with best practice around:
     environmental management of their shoot
     health and welfare management of birds during rearing and release
     appropriate use of medication
     humane shooting and dispatch of birds
     food-safe handling of game meat
     proactive game meat marketing plans
     record keeping and traceability

Who sets the Scheme standards?

  • The scheme Shoot Standards have been developed in house by the BGA. They
    have been developed in consultation with shoot operators, NGO’s, game dealer’s
    retailers and consumers as well as our chosen independent scheme auditors
    (Acoura).

How do you check that participants are meeting the Standards?

  • As with all recognised quality assurance schemes the BGA has contracted an
    industry specialist, Lloyd’s Registers (Acoura), to provide independent oversight of
    the scheme operation and members’ compliance with Scheme standards. Lloyd’s
    Register will do this by establishing robust Scheme governance processes and
    protocols; undertaking site assessments of 33% participants in year one, rising to
    50% in year two; and conducting detailed audits of any Scheme members where
    substantive formal complaints are raised in regard to any shoot.

 

  • In addition, Lloyd’s Registers will independently collect and submit samples of game
    meat for testing of inappropriate use of veterinary medicines.

Who are Lloyd’s Registers (Acoura)?

  • Lloyd’s Register started out in 1760 as a marine classification society. Today, it’s one
    of the world’s leading providers of professional services for engineering and
    technology – improving safety for clients in over 75 countries worldwide. The
    management of food safety and integrity is a key strategic priority and through its
    Acoura business develops and manages food assurance work throughout the UK
    and internationally.

What do Lloyd’s Registers know about our sector?

  • Lloyd’s Register, through Acoura, has more than 20 years’ experience of developing
    and operating food assurance schemes to range of different standards including Red
    Tractor Assurance, Quality Meat Scotland Scotch Beef, Marine Stewardship Council
    fisheries and British Retail Consortium standards.

 

  • The company has many years’ experience working with the game sector having
    developed and operated the Scottish Quality Wild Venison Scheme since 2002 and
    which now accounts for more than 70% of production; AND supported the
    development and operation of the Wildlife Estates Scotland Scheme launched in
    2013.

 

  • The Assesors have been trained by the GWCT at Loddington to ensure they fully
    understand best practice on shoots.

What can I do if I am not sure if I meet the standards?

  • We can arrange a pre-assessment where an assessor will be able show you where
    you may need to make changes in order to meet the standards for which there will
    be an agreed cost.

When will I receive my assessment and who will the assessor be?

  • 33% of participants will receive an on-site audit in year one in the preparation for and
    during the shooting season. The assessor will make contact up to a week before the
    audit to arrange a suitable time to visit and discuss the requirements for the audit
    with a pre-assessment check list.

 

  • Where a formal credible complaint is raised, an audit investigation will be
    undertaken within 48 hours of the complaint being received. Scheme participants will
    be obliged to ensure that a representative is available to meet the assessor and fully
    cooperate with their investigation.

What does an assessment entail?

  • On initial contact from the assessor a pre-assessment check will be carried out and
    the assessor will talk through the assessment process and explain what is required.
    The assessor will want to assess a number of areas and this will include rearing
    facilities (where relevant), release pens, feed and medicine stores, feed and
    medicine records and prescriptions (where relevant), game marketing plans, chilling
    facilities and environmental management measures/habitat improvements. Once the
    assessment has been completed the assessor will agree any areas that do not
    comply with the scheme standards and require improvement. You will be asked to
    sign the visit record summarising any agreed non-compliances, and a copy will be
    left with you.

How long will an assessment take?

  • This will depend on the business operation and how prepared a member is for their
    assessment, but it would typically expect to be up to 2/3 hours in duration.

What happens if I have non-compliances?

  • If you have minor non-compliances you will need to demonstrate the corrective
    action you have taken or intend to take and typically this can be in the form of
    photos, copies of records/invoices and declarations. The BGA and auditors will
    work with you to help ensure compliance going forward.

 

  • In the event of major non-compliance your shoot will be removed from the BGA. In
    that event you will may be able to reapply where a follow-up site visit will be
    undertaken at your additional cost to demonstrate compliance with the BGA
    standards after a stated amount of time.