British chippies turn to Norway over rising costs

Fish and chips in a styrofoam box, with a plastic fork stuck in the battered fish, rests on a pebble beach.

The chippy industry is set to call the Scandinavian country later this week amid rising energy costs and food prices (Picture: Getty)

British fish and chip shops will turn to Norway for support this week as they continue to face high energy bills and food prices.

The cost of cooking oil, potatoes and fish has skyrocketed along with heating amid the cost of living crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

Ahead of the Frozen At Sea summit in Scandinavia, Andrew Cook of the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) said: “Most shipowners in Norway produce decapitated and gutted fish, which is then sent elsewhere for processing.

“I hope I can get them to switch some ships to produce fillets for my line of business as we need as many as possible to keep the price as under control as possible.

“We expect a 35% tariff on Russian whitefish, which will drive up the price of all fish. We cannot be so dependent on supplies from a specific region.”

This comes after the NFFF warned that around 3,500 of the UK’s estimated 10,500 fish and chip shops could close by the end of this year due to a price hike.

Ukraine accounted for 48% of global exports of sunflower seed and safflower oil in 2019, with Russia being the second largest producer at 24%.

After Putin ordered his troops to Ukraine, the price of sunflower oil per barrel rose from around 30 to 44 pounds.

Fishermen empty a fishing net into a fishing boat.

The National Federation of Fish Friers is hoping to persuade Norwegian vessels to produce fillets for the British industry during a summit on Wednesday (Image: AFP).

Breaded fish with fries and half a lemon.

Ukraine accounted for 48% of global exports of sunflower seeds and safflower oil in 2019 (Image: Getty Images)

Mr Crook, who runs Skippers of Euxton restaurant in Lancashire, added he wanted to see the Treasury lower VAT to help the industry.

“Not every business can be saved, but action is needed now to ensure we come through this in the best possible shape,” he said.

The issue had already been raised in Parliament in March, when North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen told colleagues “the business outlook” for an “award-winning” fish and chip shop in his constituency “has never been so volatile”. been.

He said: “A lot of fish and chip shops are worried about whether they will actually survive. So could we get a government statement on what action the government will be taking to ensure they protect the future of our fish and chips? Shops, a big part of British life?’

Mark Spencer, leader of the House of Commons, replied: “Takeaways are a big part of the nighttime economy. These companies are actually a service they provide to our community and they should be supported.

“I wish the best not only to his fish and chip shop, but to all fish and chip shops across the country.”

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Justin Scacco

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