Daily Express

UK chip shop owners plead with Norway to increase cod supplies

- By Cyril Dixon

FISH and chips could rocket in price with up to a third of shops are at risk of going out of business because of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Industry leaders are appealing to Norway to increase their supplies of cod to Britain.

The National Federation of Fish Friers blames the crisis on plans for a new levy on Russian exporters, who provide 40 per cent of fillets.

There are fears that chippies could be forced to close as customers are put off by the soaring price of the nation’s favourite takeaway.

The group now wants Norwegian fishermen to increase their imports to replace those whose price has increased through trade embargoes.

Andrew Crook, the group’s president, will make an appeal when he attends a Norwegian Seafood Council conference on Wednesday.

He will tell the Frozen at Sea gathering in Alesund, west Norway, that British shops are crying out for their fillets.

Mr Crook said: “We are expecting a tariff on Russian white fish of 35 per cent, which will force the price of all fish upwards.

“We cannot be so reliant on supplies from one specific region. Most vessel owners there produce headed and gutted fish that is then sent to be processed elsewhere.

“I am hoping I can get them to switch some vessels to produce fillets for my industry.”

Mr Crook, who runs the Skippers of Euxton chip shop in Lancashire, added: “We need as many as we can get to help keep the price as under control as possible. “A third of our fish and chip shops could shut. Not every business can be saved, but action is needed now to ensure we get through this.”

He said even without the levy, internatio­nal fish price rises have led to Icelandic cod doubling in cost from £8 last October to £16 now.

His warning comes weeks after the federation said the Ukraine invasion has left them short of other key ingredient­s for the great British favourite.

Cooking oil is more scarce and expensive because supplies from Ukraine have been hit, together with Russian potatoes and flour from Eastern European mills.

George Morey, manager of Knight’s Fish and Chips, in Glastonbur­y, Somerset, said: “We have to prepare ourselves for the worst times ahead, and I think it’s possibly the biggest challenge the industry has faced.”

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 ?? ?? We’ve been battered...Fish industry chiefs want Norway trawlers to bring more cod. Far left, Andrew Crook
We’ve been battered...Fish industry chiefs want Norway trawlers to bring more cod. Far left, Andrew Crook
 ?? Pictures: ALAMY, GETTY ??
Pictures: ALAMY, GETTY

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