Most European countries place a large premium on high-quality game meat, not only because it is much sought after, but as a result of knowing the value thereof, both in terms of health and taste.
The notion that a better tasting, better quality meat should have a premium on the price, peaks in Germany and France, both countries with a healthy appetite for wild meat, but stretches way into the central suburbs of Moscow.
It therefore makes sense that, with well-oiled distribution channels and a thoroughly established cold chain, chilled meat should have a preference in the restaurant and hotel markets. Especially since the bulk of chilled meat is prepared medium to rare, and enjoyed with utmost refinement.
In China, the situation is slightly different.
Most of the Chinese aren’t averse to the various exotic meats available on the international market, but culture differences ensures that cooking practices varies greatly from that of their European counterparts and therefor has a great effect on the choice of imports.
The majority of the Chinese prefer their meat, especially red meat, well-cooked which makes the more expensive and delicate process of chilled meat redundant. It would take an absolute expert on meat tasting to know the difference between frozen and chilled meat, when eating a well-cooked cut of prime steak.
Some of the European culture and habits have had its influence on Chine in the last couple of decades, but not enough to, at this point export substantial amounts of chilled meat to the Asian continent. The picture changes dramatically when considering containers of frozen meat, as demand keeps rising and a good cut of venison is still better than the best cuts of beef, chicken or pork.
When considering China however as an export destination for game meat and wild meats, research shows that unlike the western societies who prefer thick cuts of meat, the Chinese and many other Asian countries are not used to thick cuts and therefor find it challenging on the correct methods of cooking the meat.
These are all challenges that will need to be addressed by an ever-growing wildlife industry in South Africa, as a priority to maintain the already established steady growth.