Fayre Game Pursuits discuss sustainable food with The Countryside Store.

The Countryside Store were thrilled to catch up with the guys at Fayre Game Pursuits to discuss the importance of supporting suppliers of sustainable foods in the UK


Who are Fayre Game Pursuits and what are you trying to achieve?

Fayre Game Pursuits is a media company with the aim to support those people that share our passion for wild game and introduce others who are keen to benefit from the organic provenance that harvesting wild game provides. We use multimedia to both educate people on how to source wild game ethically and sustainably, in addition to promoting the benefits of locally sourced resources literally from field to fork. Our objective is to provide a repository of educational material to assist people in both taking up game pursuits, being successful in harvesting quarry, efficiently processing the meat to provide healthy food, and understand the true nature of this undertaking where the benefits are share equally between wildlife and the hunter.

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What does sustainable food mean to you?

Sustainable food is where there is a positive impact from game pursuits to the health and well being of the greater population of the quarry. At the same time, it enhances bio diversity in those areas through careful land management, pest and population control. Furthermore, selective harvesting should be conducted at all times to ensure the local population can thrive with the best genetics and thus improve the health and fitness of future generations. We shouldn’t look at our hunting endeavours as only taking enough for what we need but rather taking what’s right for the remaining, and future, population of the quarry to thrive. The result will be a truly sustainable resource for ourselves and our own future generations that also supports a string and healthy game population.


Do you think we need to address the sustainability of our food?

In a way that’s what industrial farming techniques that came in post the second world war were designed to do. Let’s not forget that farming was a conscious decision of man to make access to meat more efficient and reliable than hunting. Those of us who hunt do so because of a number of reasons. Undoubtably there is an intrinsic sense of hunter gatherer but additionally there is a conscious decision to understand the true provenance of the meat we eat which can only be guaranteed by harvesting wild game from an area that the hunter truly understands. Intensive farming practices come under fire when greed outstrips the need for high volumes of meat, resulting in a situation where one can throw out the baby with the bath water so to speak! Currently, here in the UK, we are fortunate in the fact that intensive farmed cattle industry hasn’t really managed to get established but unfortunately its possibly only a matter of time. Broiler chicken farms do already exist here. Supply and demand dictate their existence however so if we want to ensure a more natural sustainability model for the future, we need to convince people to understand the value of the food they eat. For me this should be a national focus. Eating local and ethically sourced, seasonal meat and produce should be part of our way of life. This doesn’t mean the removal of supermarkets but does mean the regeneration of butchers, grocers, farm shops as well as the implementation of some controls over how supermarkets monopolise the food producers resulting in the devaluing of the food they provide. A change in mindset therefore for both the consumer and the provider is required but I feel must occur if we are to deny the industrialisation of food provision and simultaneously improve the connection people should have to the food they eat.


With Brexit looming, what effect (if any) do you see this having on British food production? And could this be an opportunity to support our producers?

That’s a hard question. On one hand we have the scare tactics of people saying Brexit paves the way for USA industrialised farming techniques, and produce, entering the UK market. On the other side however, we have the argument that we are free of the European controls that dictate how our produce should look and feel. There are doubles lots of good things that membership to the EU provided with regard to food production but that doesn’t mean the UK will throw away those rules as it paves its new road forward. One would like to think it takes the best of all worlds and creates a far better landscape for food production here in the UK. To achieve this however I think public opinion must make its voice heard. It would be a foolish government to think ignoring the will of the people would not be a foolhardy thing to do. That however brings us back to the point of ‘connection’ or rather ‘disconnection’. Its tragic that we live in a world where people have become disconnected from the food they eat, even whilst ironically trying to morally chastise those who aren’t. Without real education on what it is we eat, how we produce it, and where it will come from in the future then people are less likely to change their current perceptions. That said, I do believe that the COVID pandemic has to a small degree at least started to make people appreciate locally producers just a little bit more than they have previously.

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Should we be doing more to promote and support our British producers and if so how do we achieve this?

Absolutely. I would assume that in the current climate of COVID a campaign to promote our local producers as a key industry helping us through the climate of lockdown would be a good story the press should get behind. Its sad that our press only seem to want to present negativity and fear as its obviously what sells their media offerings. The only exception to this was their support of the NHS but that allowed them to fuel the fear of COVID so I doubt very much it was a fully altruistic action on their part. However, back to the question. I believe a national campaign to promote locally produced produce, sourced locally, promoting the animal welfare assured to the livestock and the health benefits of these foods would be a good and honest way to try and reconnect people to the food they eat. I think this will have to be initiated by rural media providers however as the national press outlets may actually be part of the disconnected elements of the population.


Do countryside pursuits have a part to play in producing sustainable food?

Countryside pursuits are wide and varied. Deer stalking for instance is different to deer management. A rough shoot is different to a driven day. Where one provides food for the hunter, the other provides higher volumes of meat for game dealers and hopefully local distribution. Supply and demand come back to the fore however. Europe still demands game meat whereas the UK, nationally, does not. Venison value has plummeted during the pandemic as travel restrictions have possibly prevented game dealers accessing their customer markets in Europe. Its alarming how many people in the UK have never even tasted venison let alone understand how healthy it is as a meat source. The life of a pheasant is so much more truly organic than that of a broiler chicken but many people see the production of pheasant meat as barbaric and feel it’s an elitist pastime but are happy to eat chicken from fast food outlets or restaurants because they see it as the healthy option. Until we can convince people of the true benefits of both the healthy (and tasty) meat provided by countryside pursuits along with the positive well being assured to the animal during its life then we will find it hard to convince people to see wild game as a sustainable food source for the wider population and it may remain a paradox in the love for all things European where its highly regarded, and yet here in the UK its only really valued by rural populations and people who are tuned into the benefits of wild game through their passion for hunter gathering!

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The Countryside Store would like to thank Jim and the guys at Fayre Game Pursiuts for this fascinating insite into the importance of supporting our sustainable food suppliers and producers.

We would strongly recommend you visit their brilliant website to discover more on the work that goes on at Fayre Game Persuits.


If you would like to feature on The Countryside Store please get in touch today.


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