New Game Processor Opens

New Game Processor Opens

Oakland Park, the first new game processing facility in the UK in 40 years, stands at the forefront of venison production and promotion by pledging support for Eat Wild


A new game processing facility, due to open in August 2024, is set to be at the forefront of venison production and promotion. Oakland Park, a new state-of-the-art processing and butchery plant extending to over 1,100 square metres, will be the first new facility to open in the UK in 40 years and the first processor ever to ask every stalker to donate £1.00 per carcass to the development board for all wild meat in the UK, Eat Wild.  

From August 2024, stalkers from across the south of England will have a new facility for the purchase and processing of game of all species: Oakland Park at Hermitage in West Berkshire, just 2 minutes from the M4. The brainchild of estate owner Seton Fairhurst, the plant has been developed jointly by passionate stalker John Prince and business entrepreneur Alan Hayward, who has over 50 years' experience in the butchery and wholesale meat industry. An Open Day to celebrate the launch will take place on 20th July 2024 at Oakland Park.

In a forward thinking stand, the new facility has pledged support for the wild meat industry as a whole by promising to donate £1.00 per carcass to Eat Wild, the official development board for all wild meat in the UK, who work to promote wild meat, secure new markets for it, and ensure a fully sustainable ‘circle of game’.

Louisa Clutterbuck, CEO of Eat Wild says

“This is such huge, exciting news for the industry. Oakland Park is leading the way in venison production and their support of Eat Wild will allow us to continue to spread awareness of the benefits of both venison and feathered game and create new markets for it across the country. I would strongly encourage other processors to heed Oakland Park’s future-proofing example and follow suit.”

Oakland Park will be capable of handling 40,000 deer carcasses a year of all species plus 15,000 gamebirds a week throughout the season. Its in-skin chilled store, with a capacity of 300 carcasses, leads into a skinning room and onwards into a cutting room which will produce saddles and haunches, plus diced venison and venison trim. Furthermore, it will not simply be selling venison as a generic: Oakland Park will be species specific, so will label its products as red, roe, muntjac etc.

John Prince says

“As a stalker, so often I would go out over three or four days and maybe put ten deer in the chiller, but then I would find that the dealers would not be taking them. Even if they were, they were driving the market down and offering rock-bottom prices. Our whole ethos is to turn that around, and eventually to create a whole new market for game and venison and offer shoots and deer stalkers a fair price for top quality game and carcasses.”

Alan Hayward says

“We are not retail butchers; our market is not even individual catering customers – we are selling to the major catering suppliers. We will be providing a range of cuts as well as products like sausages, burgers, meatballs and koftas, and we will also be selling skinned carcasses into the wholesale trade. Export is high on the agenda but in simultaneous recognition of the enormous demand from individual stalkers, Oakland Park looks forward to providing a place where the stalker can bring his carcasses, whether just one or two, or in quantity.”


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