The Game Fair was an opportunity for many shoot owners and game shooters to meet the British Game Alliance (BGA) for the first time. The BGA stand was busy all weekend as punters arrived to find out what the new organisation is all about, as new figures show that 68% of guns want to spend their money at shoots that are part of an assurance scheme.
The Game Fair gave the BGA the opportunity to explain its purpose in more detail. The press surrounding the launch of the BGA has understandably focussed on the delivery of enforceable shoot standards, and this was clearly on the minds of many of the people who stopped by the stand to talk. New figures from the Guns on Pegs/Strutt and Parker Shoot Census 2018 show that 68% of guns would feel happier shooting on estates that are members of an assurance scheme, and the British Game Alliance provides exactly that assurance with its standards policed by Acoura, who also audit Wildlife Estates Scotland.
Fascinatingly only 21% of shoot owners think guns are interested in a shoot assurance scheme, so the Game Fair was a great opportunity to explain that BGA membership will actually boost a shoot’s popularity with its guests and clients, especially as the BGA is exploring options to helps its members raise standards wherever support is requested.
The Game Fair was also a chance to promote the other benefits of BGA membership, including the strides being made to generate new contracts for the sale of game meat at home and around the world, contracts that will be made available to accredited dealers stocking game exclusively from BGA members. Membership of the BGA might be a cost in the short term, but in the medium term it will boost the value of game at the shoot gate. It should be seen as an investment which will be returned in game sales.
BGA Managing Director Tom Adams said: “The Game Fair was a brilliant opportunity to meet the shooting community face to face, put a lot of concerns to rest and promote what we are really trying to do. Credible, yet achievable, enforced standards are what we are all about, and they are vital in giving our membership organisations the tools they need to defend shooting from attack. But the BGA goes much further than that. We will help boost the profitability of game and we will help shoots raise their standards where that help is wanted. It is massively to shooting’s credits that so many guns want to shoot on estates that are part of an assurance scheme, and the BGA is here to provide exactly that.
“We are delighted that over 40 shoots signed up over the weekend, many of those were small ones who, while they utilise all their own game, understand the necessity of being a part of the BGA. With so many guns going home to tell the shoots they visit to join up, we are looking forward to signing up many more over the next few weeks.”