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NFFF calls on gov to help fish & chips shops as third may close due to cost rises

President of The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), Andrew Crook has called on the Boris Johnson's government to provide relief for the industry, as food shortages and price hikes have forced shops to change their menus, put up prices or close down.

The fish & chip shop market, which is still recovering from Covid-19, could see up to a third of all outlets close theor doors for good.

The traditional dish's key ingredients - potatoes, flour, sunflower oil and fish - have been hit with shortages and price hikes since the start of Russia's war in Ukraine in February.

Over 50% of the sunflower oil used by British chip shops come from Ukraine while most fertiliser for potatoes, flour and up to 40% of cod and haddock comes from Russia, Sky News reported.

Alternatives to sunflower oil, such as rapeseed and palm oils, have risen in price since the invasion of Ukraine, fertiliser for potatoes has tripled in cost and British sanctions on Russia have pushed up fish prices.

The changes have squeezed fish and chip shops which have seen profit margins narrow, pushing many to the brink of closure.

Andrew Crook, speaking to Sky News, urged government, 'Act now! We need action before long-term damage is done that can’t be repaired. We aren’t after handouts. We are a proud industry. But a lot of businesses will go to the wall and we need a long-term strategy to see us through.'