Keeping Game on the Menu and in our minds

HFV Parkland & Wild (HFV) is a proud Yorkshire-based business. Managing director Nigel Sampson always had a passion for farming and deer and spent many years of hard work to create a professional nationwide distribution network, supplying park and wild deer into retailers, the public, supermarkets and hospitality sectors.

The business is also a British Game Alliance-assured stockist of feathered game meat products, demonstrating and adhering to the highest standards in this sector. You can find its products in supermarkets around the UK carrying the BGA stamp of approval, which is a real step forward for the sector in recent years.

TGF: How did HFV begin?

Nigel Sampson: We began by selling farmed deer due to the often-unreliable aspects of the wild venison product, which created the marketplace for the modern consumer, particularly in retail – where we were stocking into the likes of hotels, Harrods, Selfridges and local supermarkets such as Booths, which was a great market for us at that stage and we were sourcing everything from our own farm.

Eventually, English farmed deer became sparse and, with the growing venison market here in the UK, we began to supplement it by buying from New Zealand, at which point this represented around 50 per cent of our production for many years, but this has since changed dramatically.

TGF: How have you seen the venison market change over the years?

NS: During this time of importing, the wild deer processors and dealers in the UK were constantly improving their practices, larders and getting their processes up to a standard that is recognised across the meat trade, with many now holding BRC and SALSA certificates.

The various changes in game meat legislation saw many of these products, which now met the EU standards able to be brought into our fold as these met the standards of our clients, such as UK supermarkets.

British wild deer could now be brought to the UK consumer and we now have more wild deer than ever, as well as introduced species which are flourishing. Our business is now made up of 90 per cent wild and parkland deer from the UK.

Our wild venison is sourced from mainly fallow and red deer but all species are available, subject to their legal seasons. This allows both chefs and consumers to taste a range of venison from a range of species, supplying retail, the catering industry as well as mail order products.

As a business, we have continued to see the demand for sustainable British venison and, in order to meet this national demand, we launched our Parkland and Wild brand to offer a nearly all year-round seasonal product. We’re proud to stock national supermarkets with this to offer customers a locally sourced and nature’s sustainable venison product.

Today we are still a family run business, with a great team of staff, a purpose-built production facility in Yorkshire and a herd of native red deer which we manage on our own farm and several associated farms.

TGF: What can we expect to see from HFV at this year’s Game Fair?

NS: We will be hosting exciting demonstrations on our stand with our head butcher, who will be preparing a wide range of cuts. We have some great new products launching too, which we will be excited to reveal. The stand is located within the British Game Alliance area, within the Totally Food Area, which is a dedicated area for education, supply, products and services, cooking and experiencing game.

TGF: Why do you think more people should eat venison?

NS: Venison has become very popular as a healthier, lower fat alternative to meats such as beef, that’s naturally high in Omega 3 fatty acids and versatile enough for both the summer barbecue and the winter roast or casserole. As consumers we have become more concerned about where our food comes from and what’s in it, and so we are proud to champion this locally sourced and natures sustainable product.

TGF: What’s your favourite venison dish?

NS: My absolute favourite is a fallow loin – it is so versatile and easy to cook. We have really enjoyed working with some talented foodies recently, who have been sharing recipes using HFV products to Instagram.

Some of the best creations I’ve seen have been anything from a simple and hearty venison bolognese to a venison loin with braised cavolo nero, fire-roasted thyme beets, truffled Apache potatoes, porcini ketchup and new season wild garlic and toasted almond salsa verde!

You can learn more about HFV or shop the full selection of venison and feathered game meat products by visiting or follow them on social media @hfvenison.

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