Since starting Zambuni, game has always been something we have been passionate about promoting and finding creative ways to encourage a new audience. From the Great Grouse Run Challenges we ran with The Epicurean Collection to launching the Eat Game Awards last year, of which Lincolnshire Game was a finalist, it is always in the forefront of our minds. We are extremely proud to work with the British Game Alliance. This critical new organisation is the official marketing board for the UK game industry.
We have naturally made many friends in this world over the years and ones that truly stand out as champions of game are Simon and Tristan at Lincolnshire Game. In just four years they have created an outstanding factory where they have become the go to as game processors for top supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Their attention to detail and unique processes have raised the bar for the industry and they are true innovators in their field. Their exceptional progress in such a short time can be attributed to hard work and an inside out knowledge of the industry. They have been successfully growing the export market as well as the domestic market and there is a palpable growth in demand for game from the supermarkets. I am absolutely sure that much of this can be attributed to relentlessly high standards and processing techniques such as removing the lead shot from the bird and perfect storage standards.
I have heard flippant and unrealistic remarks about the game market being grown and sustained. It is completely unrealistic to compare processing a chicken to a pheasant. Nearly every chicken will be used although with a pheasant it is a far smaller percent. A chicken can be plucked at below freezing so this can be an automated process whereas with a pheasant it needs to be hand plucked (with a machine to help) at 4 degrees. Obviously, it is a seasonal bird as well. Naturally there are huge benefits to eating game although with the processing procedure there are higher costs involved, more challenges to face and a far less automated procedure.
Lincolnshire Game are based near Boston in Lincolnshire. They have grown exponentially over the past four years and the plans for further development are certainly not abating with a completely new facility for venison nearly ready to open and a development kitchen where chef and author Jose Souto can test new dishes. They definitely rolled out the red carpet for us and their passion and commitment to best practice shone through every part of the business. After a tour of the factory, built from scratch by Simon and Tristan and their team, we headed to Ye Olde Red Lion at Bicker, another Eat Game Awards finalist for lunch. I enjoyed a venison cassoulet and we discussed subjects such as the negative impact of Brexit on game exports to Europe which account for the usage of most of the UK’s game currently and the encouraging growth of game sales in the supermarkets and the innovative new products being created by Lincolnshire Game to appeal to a broader market.
All in all it was a valuable, educational and first and foremost enjoyable visit. Our knowledge and understanding of this crucial part of the game industry – processing was greatly enhanced helping us be more educated and effective in the subsequent work we undertake.
Thank you Lincolnshire Game.