VENISON supplier Highland Game has won contracts with supermarket giants that it expects will provide a £1 million plus boost to turnover amid the growing popularity of deer meat.

The Dundee-based firm will supply venison steaks for sale in Tesco stores in England and Wales. Its new venison-filled pie is to be stocked by Tesco outlets in Scotland.

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The company said Morrisons had significantly increased its order for Highland Game-branded wild venison products. Morrisons has also ordered meat for sale in an own brand format which it tested successfully in the Christmas season last year.

“These new deals with Tesco and Morrisons mean that for the first time, Highland Game venison will be available in almost every UK postcode, from Shetland right down to Lands’ End” said Christian Nissen, a Danish entrepreneur who is founder and managing director of Highland Game.

The company said it had invested with partners in the maintenance of a sustainable and reliable supply of wild venison in response to an increase in the popularity of the meat in the last five to 10 years.

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It processes up to 70,000 deer annually, around 90 per cent of which are sourced in Scotland. The firm buys deer that have been culled by Forestry & Land Scotland, successor to the Forestry Commission, or private estates as part of efforts to prevent over-population.

Founded by Mr Nissen in 1997 it has £13m turnover of £13m and employs more than 100 people.

Highland Game products will be packaged in recyclable metal trays from Monday. It said: “The move away from using black plastic packaging, which is coloured using carbon pigments that make it difficult for recycling systems to pick up, could save up to 40 tonnes of black plastic from going to landfill every year."