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Auchtermuchty mail order company voted Best British Small Meat Producer

3 June 2010



Auchtermuchty mail order company voted Best British Small Meat Producer

Fletchers of Auchtermuchty, the famous Scottish venison farm, scooped the prize of the Best Small Meat Producer at the prestigious Good Housekeeping Food Awards in London on Thursday 27th May. Among the winners of 16 categories announced in London last night, this was the only Scottish business.
The award was given in association with Slow Foods and was judged against stiff opposition by a panel of food experts. Winners in other categories included big names like Tesco, Waitrose, Pizza Express, the BBC Masterchef programme, Nigel Slater and James Martin as well as other household names.
John and Nichola Fletcher started producing venison on their small Fife hill farm 35 years ago. Holding firm to their principles throughout, their objective has always been to produce consistently tender and superbly flavoured venison at a fair price, while the ideals of high animal welfare have been especially important to John, a vet.
Receiving the award on the night, John Fletcher said:
“Such a prestigious national award means a tremendous amount for a small business like ours. It’s wonderful to see venison from our little farm hitting the headlines and competing with such big players. Scottish deer farmers are especially disadvantaged by their government’s refusal to provide them with the subsidies that beef and lamb producers – and even English deer farmers – receive. I can only hope an award like this will allow us to keep growing and remind people how tasty and healthy venison is. Venison is definitely a mainstream meat now”
Shortlisted for this award by Slow Food who were looking for producers that make minimal environmental impact and practice high animal welfare standards, Fletchers’ venison ran the gamut of the Good Housekeeping professional tasting panel who pronounced their venison steaks to be so delicious that they needed no additions while Nichola’s dry-cured venison carpaccio also met with the panel’s approval.
Fletchers’ venison is a complete nose to tail range including the increasingly popular venison offal including liver, kidney, heart and sweet breads. Mail order customers benefit from a bespoke cut-to-order approach and can choose from ten flavours from the Seriously Good Sausage menu as well as more traditional casserole, steaks and roasts. Nichola Fletcher is an award-winning food writer who is considered a venison guru.
Customers can order on-line from Fletchers’ huge range of venison cuts and products, at www.seriouslygoodvenison.co.uk where they can also find out about the farm and how to cook venison. Or they can visit the farm shop in Auchtermuchty or pick and choose at the company’s farmers market stalls in Edinburgh on Castle Terrace every Saturday or at the monthly Perth and Fife markets. At Edinburgh customers can satisfy their hunger with hot haggis, neeps and tatties served by John Fletcher who points out that venison haggis is the original – the deer were there before the sheep after all.

Notes to Editors
Contact John or Nichola Fletcher on 01337 828 369 or 07802 444128 or fletchers.scotland@virgin.net for more information, images, recipes or an interview.

· Nichola Fletcher is author of a number of cookery books including Nichola Fletcher’s Ultimate Venison Cookery, which won ‘Best Single Subject Cookbook in the World’ at the 2008 World Gourmand Awards, and John Fletcher is the author of Fletcher’s Game which tells the story of their business.
· Fletcher’s venison can be delivered fresh to your door via mail order. Details of this are available at www.seriouslygoodvenison.co.uk or by telephoning 01337 828369. It is also available at the farm shop at Reediehill and at Farmers’ Markets in Fife, Edinburgh and Perth.
· Most venison in British supermarkets and restaurants is imported from New Zealand deer farms.
· The predicament of Scottish deer farmers is grave. Despite assurances from Brussels that they are eligible for agricultural support the Scottish government has refused to accept this. The number of Scottish deer farmers is falling and they remain the only grass based farming system to be denied support.
· Research from MINTEL shows that sales for game soared 46% between 2004 and 2006, to reach £57 million. Venison accounts for 47% of this.
· Fletchers of Auchtermuchty were nominated for a Slow Food Award, were runners up at 2006’s BBC Food & Farming Awards for Best Producer and were one of Rick Stein’s Food Super heroes.
· Fletchers of Auchtermuchty are recommended by Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson, Sophie Grigson, Nick Nairn, Sue Lawrence, and more. Gordon Ramsay said: ‘I can confirm that their venison is truly delicious”.
· Note that venison has less fat than even skinless chicken and twice the iron of beef and lamb at a time when British women are recognised to be commonly iron deficient.



Sources: The Composition of Foods, McCance & Widdowson, 1995.


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