British Game Alliance
By John Duncan
To help promote the consumption of game and secure the future of shooting, the British Game Alliance (BGA) has been formed to act as the official marketing board for game meat. A not-for-profit organisation, the BGA is set to launch in mid-April and will act on behalf of the shooting community's best interest.
Tom Adams, who previously worked for GunsOnPegs, is heading up the initiative. He commented: “The BGA will increase the value of shot game by seeking new markets both in the UK and internationally, linking consumers with processors, promoting the health benefits of eating game, and challenge public perceptions of game meat.”
The BGA will also operate a ‘British Game' assurance scheme, which will advertise to game consumers, guns and the public that shoots are operating within the BGA's standards.
All shoots will be encouraged to register online, pay a tiered membership subscription, and agree to meet the BGA’s Shoot Standards. Shoots which let days will ask paying guns to contribute to the BGA through an optional levy. Shoots will be added to a public list of assured shoots and authorised to use the BGA’s ‘British Game’ logo. All shooting-related businesses are being approached for their involvement and support as well.
The BGA will investigate credible complaints about standards on member shoots. Shoots that are found to be operating outside the Shoot Standards will have their membership and right to use the BGA logo revoked and the BGA will publish details of any complaint that is upheld.
The BGA is currently putting together a main board of individuals with relevant experience in PR, finance, and business. A revised advisory board made up of some of the most experienced shoot managers and sporting agents in the country is overseeing the launch of the BGA and will continue to advise the main board.
The BGA has already garnered support from key individuals and organisations:
Tim Bonner, CEO of the Countryside Alliance, commented: "The future of shooting relies on the industry addressing the two key issues of game marketing and standards. The BGA is exactly the vehicle needed to deliver self-regulation of shoots and to ensure a strong market for every bird shot. Every shoot in the country should sign up and everyone who shoots should support it".
Richard Benyon, MP said: “Shooting needs to be open and accountable both in terms of standards and in ensuring a market for shot game. The BGA is the right way for shooting to address these issues and now is the right time.”
Peter Glenser, Chairman of the British Association for Shooting & Conservation, added: “BASC welcomes initiatives which raise standards in shooting and ensures that everything shot goes into the food chain. The link between shooting and food is the foundation of shooting's present and future. BASC looks forward to seeing the detail of this initiative and how the BGA will contribute to this aim."
Teresa Dent, CEO of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, concluded: “We support best practice in all aspects of game management, so we wish this initiative every success in its contribution to future sustainability.”