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24 September, 2008 - 09:11 By Tony Quested

Game on the menu with new enterprise

Individual sporting shooters, game shoots and people who enjoy eating game within 50 miles of Saffron Walden, are about to benefit from a new licensed wild game processing business, set up on a local farm.

The Radwinter Wild Game Company is the new enterprise of Gilly Kiddy, who with her husband Jeremy has identified a gap in the market, and converted a redundant grain store at their farm, Radwinter Park in Radwinter, near Saffron Walden to a processing plant. 

She will be purchasing game in feather, fur and skin, which will be processed and prepared ‘oven-ready’ for the public and catering trade. This will include venison, pheasant, partridge, pigeon, hare and rabbit, which will be available throughout the year. 

The enterprise was officially opened by Jim Paice, MP for South East Cambridgeshire and Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Funding from the Rural Development Programme for England, delivered by the East of England Development Agency, has made the new venture possible. It is also being backed by the Country Land and Business Association, which promotes local foods through its ‘Just Ask’ campaign. 

“As there wasn’t a local outlet for fresh game generated from their shooting activities, we have significant support from the shooting fraternity,” says Gilly.

“I intend to sell at Farmers Markets and through on-line shopping facilities on our website. We are a local enterprise supplying sought after, locally produced fresh food, offering traceability and consumer confidence in our products – and a reduction in food miles.”

Today they have a superb purpose-built meat processing plant, which exceeds current meat hygiene regulations, designed by Jack Shewring, a specialist consultant to the meat industry. It also offers local employment. 

“It has been hard work to achieve this, but very satisfying,” says Gilly.  “We have employed local craftsmen throughout the building project, and used reclaimed and environmentally sensitive materials as much as possible – we are proud of our new facility, and looking forward to doing business.”

Engineers from Adcock Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Limited in Cambridge air conditioned the offices and installed refrigeration systems throughout.

The installation included an intake chiller, running between 2 and 8 degrees, to receive the game; a boning room at +12 degrees, a holding chiller (2-8 degrees), a packing room (+12 degrees) and cold store with freezer at -20.

Martyn Foreman, branch manager at Adcock Cambridge said: “Game dealers have become something of a rarity as regulations in the industry have tightened over the years.

“You used to be able to hang produce in the barn but these days everything has to be chilled. Radwinter has high hopes of cornering a market that few other suppliers are in and as the product is wild they would appear to have identified a terrific opportunity. We were delighted to be in on the ground floor of what could become a UK success story.”

Jim Paice MP, who opened the new facility said: “Every farmer has to look for new enterprises and what better than to combine modern processing techniques with the timeless tradition of wild meat to fulfil the ever increasing demand for high quality food?” 

And Nicola Currie, Eastern Region Director of the CLA added: “Wild game is a completely natural, virtually fat free, nutritious meat, which is versatile and delicious to eat – precisely the kind of high-class product which so many of our members are producing.

“It fits our ‘Just Ask’ campaign, which will encourage the public to ask where the food on their plate comes from.”

•For more information, contact Gillian Kiddy on 07881 564 950.

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