The British Game Alliance (BGA) was formed in 2018 as the national marketing board for game as well as the industry self-regulator, introducing credible self-regulation in the shooting industry through its independent assurance scheme. It promotes the benefits of game meat to consumers who may not have tried it before, through its ‘Eat Wild’ marketing campaign. We spoke to Tom Adams, BGA Managing Director, about the potential impact COVID-19 will have on the game meat market as a result.
Will the impact of COVID-19 see the price of game rise at shoot level, with the supply of shot game no doubt falling?
“At this point in time we think that supply will be down, with some shoots making the decision not to shoot at all and the majority planning a reduced operation. We canvassed roughly 350 of our shoots to provide an early indication of the status quo and it seemed that we will be down by around 30% or more, this could change with time. The demand will be dependent on whether the hospitality and food service sectors are back operating and at what capacity, both here in the UK but also in Europe which accounts for 60+ % of the UK’s shot game.
With a positive outlook, we hope retail will remain strong if not stronger during such times of uncertainty, both in the UK and in Europe and we will be working with the industry to ensure those markets are as strong as possible to negate any downward trend on the price.
So, in summary, yes there will be less supply, but this could be offset again the reduction in demand due to restrictions but hopefully they will be lifted by then, which would mean a stronger demand for our game and hopefully a better price offered at shoot level.”
How will this likely affect the markets that the BGA was working so hard to establish in Asia?
“There is a similar situation in Asia to here in the UK. The foodservice and hospitality market is down significantly due to the lockdown and full closures. However, on a positive note, retail remains very strong and will continue to do so, some of the strongest game sales in Asia found in Hong Kong’s retail space as game meat is particularly popular with the expat market. Additionally, it is worth noting that Asia is ahead of the curve in terms of the lockdown measures and so we may slowly see the demand increase as things begin to return to normal over there.”
Will COVID-19 impact the BGA’s activity or ability to grow?
“Definitely not. The BGA’s main aims are self-regulation and game marketing. Both couldn’t be more paramount in uncertain times. We need to be robust and accountable and the BGA’s independent assurance scheme offers shoots of all sizes, along with the wider shooting community, the ability to demonstrate best practice on animal welfare, environmental impact and so on.
Our members which equates to roughly 40% of the shot game in the UK are independently audited by Lloyd’s Register (similar to that of the Red Tractor scheme for farmers), offering credible self-regulation for the shooting industry.
Self-regulation is absolutely key in order for our industry to secure a future for generations to come. We will continue to grow our membership during these times by leading as the self-regulatory body which we hope all shoots want to be a part of.”
For more information on the BGA’s shoot standards and assurance scheme, please visit www.britishgamealliance.co.uk.