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Improved venison quality for sustainable deer farming - LK0671

Description
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

SLP LINK Project LK0671 - Improved Venison Quality

Overview

Start Date: 01/04/2006 End Date: 31/03/2009

The aim of this project is to identify suitable parameters for assessing venison quality, and to investigate consumer perceptions and the effects of packaging and slaughter conditions on quality. This will provide robust guidelines for producing consistent, high quality venison without compromising animal welfare, and lead to a more sustainable future for deer farming.
Deer farming in the UK has maintained a steady state during the last five years following its peak in the early 1990s, and now needs to move forward in order to compete and keep pace with technological advances in other sectors of the red meat industry. The recent introduction of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) could have significant benefits for deer farming. Venison production already portrays a ‘natural’, extensive system of production, and the meat is being increasingly recognised for its healthy image. However technical knowledge, particularly with regard to the meat product quality, is lagging behind that of beef and lamb. Current ‘quality’ assessments on venison carcasses in commercial abattoirs, when used, are necessarily subjective in their application. The deer industry needs to identify suitable objective indicators that can be applied effectively to define quality, and to help guide the development of sustainable venison production systems.

The objectives of the project are:
1. To develop a suite of quality measurements for venison to allow full characterisation of venison products and systems;
2. To gain an improved understanding of consumer perceptions of venison and the associated purchase decision process;
3. To investigate the effects of packaging on shelf life and other quality parameters of venison;
4. To investigate the effects of slaughter systems, including animal welfare, on venison quality; and
5. To promote the scientific findings to the deer/venison industry through promotional events and literature.

The project brings together representatives from all sectors of the venison meat production chain, from deer producers through to venison retailers, and addresses various factors relating to venison quality which the participating partners will distil into guidelines that will benefit venison and its future place on the consumer’s shopping list.

There will be four main categories of benefits from the application of the results from this project, all of which should lead to improved sustainability of deer farming and venison production. These are:
(i) An industry ‘toolbox’ of assessments that can be used as a future yardstick by which venison quality can be reliably defined;
(ii) Baseline consumer information on venison to guide all sectors of the food chain to match consumer expectations and to focus future venison marketing campaigns;
(iii) A better understanding of the management and handling of deer at and near slaughter, and the link to quality; and
(iv) Guidelines and key messages to better inform those involved in farmed deer production and venison processing and retailing.



Objective
The objectives of the project are:
1. To develop a suite of quality measurements for venison to allow full characterisation of venison products and systems;
2. To gain an improved understanding of consumer perceptions of venison and the associated purchase decision process;
3. To investigate the effects of packaging on shelf life and other quality parameters of venison;
4. To investigate the effects of slaughter systems, including animal welfare, on venison quality; and
5. To promote the scientific findings to the deer/venison industry through promotional events and literature.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : Improved Venison Quality   (4250k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2009

Cost: £227,414
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Waitrose Ltd, Round Green Farm, ADAS UK Ltd., University - Bristol, Eurofins Scientific, The British Deer Farmers Association, Humane Slaughter Association, The, Holme Farmed Vension
Keywords
Animal Production              
Deer              
Farming              
Livestock Farming              
Meat Quality              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Resource Efficient and Resilient Food Chain