The Launch of the British Game Alliance
On 21st May 2018 at the Westminster Kingsway College, London, the British Game Alliance invited leading members of the shooting community to speak about the current state of the game meat industry, launching the BGA initiative.
The evening culminated with speeches from Simon Hart MP, and Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, who encouraged the community to act with self-regulation whilst it still can: “The reality is, whether we approve or agree with it or not, shooting has never been under greater scrutiny.”
Ivan Shenkman, Chairman of the British Game Alliance continued by speaking openly about the relationships between the shooting community, the Government, game dealers, shoot agents and the general public: “I plan to be a more than proactive chairman giving freely of my time for a sport that I love. I have spent a life time working in the food sector and shooting so believe this makes me exceptionally well placed to help resolve our immediate difficulties and guarantee that there is a long-term future for shooting in this country.”
Followed finally by Lord James Percy, British Game Alliance Patron, who discussed the current landscape of the shooting industry and its effect on the game meat industry: “The time for words is over, the time for action is upon us – not next year, not next season but right now. If there wasn’t a pretty major issue, you would not be here today, nor would there be a need for forming the British game Alliance.”
Nearly 375 shoots have signed up to date and grows by the day, from all over the British Isles which is fantastic news. We have the support of key figure heads in the food industry such as Lord Mark Price, former MD at Waitrose and Minister of State for Trade and Investment, “I’m very pleased to join the BGA as an Ambassador and look forward to working with them, helping to ensure the game sector has a sustainable and prosperous future.”
The BGA now has a strong team of Ambassadors to help promote our high standards and the work we are doing to create new markets for game.
The BGA started with just Tom Adams at the start of year and finishes the year with a pro-bono Board of 8, an office team of 5 that will expand in early 2019 to include a Head of Marketing, Export Sales Manager plus our internship position. It has grown in leaps and bounds, employing experienced and qualified staff who are able to achieve great success for the BGA.
“Being part of such an excellent team, for such a worthy cause really makes working at the BGA so enjoyable. Tom is passionate about the sustainability of shooting and it is fantastic to be able to be involved from the beginning.” Louisa North, EA to MD
Tom and Ivan, Chairman of the Board visited Number 10 where they met with Sir John Randall. Sir John Randall, Environment Special Advisor to Teresa May, listened carefully to the BGA proposals and made it very clear he is very keen to see progress in the area of self-regulation and standards. He pointed out the obvious risks to shooting should standards in the field, as well as the processing of shot game, not stand up to stringent scrutiny. He was also encouraged to hear that all the major organisations involved in game shooting were working together to achieve the highest standards.
Our Chairman met with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who welcomed the BGA, saying: “Thoughtful management of game and the habitats it thrives in is crucial to our mission to protect, preserve and enhance our natural environment for future generations. The British Game Alliance does an excellent job in promoting ethically sourced British game and I would like to thank them for the work they do.”
The BGA has huge support from members of Government, Richard Benyon, MP said: “Shooting needs to be open and accountable both in terms of standards and in ensuring a market for shot game. The BGA is the right way for shooting to address these issues and now is the right time.”
Tom also attended a number of lunch’s and talks at the House of Lords, he commented: “These are important opportunity to brief members of the House of Lords on the work of the British Game Alliance. The Lords clearly understood the importance of our work as the official marketing board for game meat and in delivering robust self-assurance for shoots and game producers. I look forward to working with many of them going forward.”
We have opened up some strong markets this year targeting wholesalers and large chains who had never previously stocked game, these include, to name a few; The Marriott Hotels, Ottolenghi Resturant Group, Wright Brothers, Splendid Hospitality and Grosvenor Pubs, PSL Food Procurement, Equinox Procurement, My Fish Company and Reynolds. We really believe we can drive significant volume through our stockists and new makrets for next season.
Next year our focus will be on, retail, food services and export markets.
We launched Eat Wild, our consumer facing campaign at the start of October and the response has been fantastic. Stockists can sign up on the BGA website to insist that they now only wish to stock BGA assured game and can buy point of sale kits. If people don’t know where to buy game from they can pop in their postcode and be shown the closet retail outlet for game or online stockist. By doing this we are making game much more accessible for the consumer.
Nigel Haworth our celebrity chef ambassador has been promoting Eat Wild and BGA assured game all over, during Great British Game Week he carried out multiple radio interviews dispelling myths and imparting his wisdom on the best ways to cook it.
In January we will be hitting the streets of London talking directly to the public and enlightening them on the delicious flavours and versatility of game.
For more inspiration have a look at the recipes here.