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Traditional fish and chip suppers are under threat, as chippies struggle to cope with rising costs.
In an attempt to reduce pressure on the quintessential British takeaway, the government is letting shops sell a previously banned type of fish known as rock salmon.
The BBC recently highlighted Dennis Jackson’s fish and chip shop in Derbyshire, which was forced to close after more than 60 years in business.
In continuous operation since 1961, the shop was a staple part of the community. But, the 84-year-old owner decided to hang up his apron as the cost-of-living crisis and increased expenses made the business no longer feasible.
Fish and chip shops across the UK have been hit by the rising cost of sunflower oil and energy. “My gas has just been quadrupled,” Mr. Jackson said.
Aside from rising oil and energy costs, one of the biggest problems facing chips shop owners is the rising cost of fish – particularly fish sourced from Russia.
Since 2021, the price of cod fillets has risen from £9 per kilogram to £12, according to the National Federation of Fish Friers.
To try and alleviate some of the industry’s struggles, the UK government recently decided to allow fish and chip shops to start selling ‘rock salmon,’ a small species of shark caught near the British Isles.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced that fishermen would be able to catch the shark after the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea ruled that stock had recovered to sustainable levels.
Rock salmon was a popular alternative to cod in some fish and chip shops and restaurants until it was banned in 2010.
National Federation of Fish Friers president Andrew Cook said the Government’s decision on catching rock salmon was “good news for British fishermen and for our fish and chip shops”.
Some fish and chip shop owners, however, are skeptical that it will make a difference.
John McNeill from Johnny Macs in Colchester, believe that it will not solve all the problems facing the industry.
“Most of our fish is from Russia; it’s been hit by the tariffs. We’re getting towards the summer season, when the seaside fish and chips vans will open. That will put demand up and increase pressure on supply until November,” he said.
Tom Fox, Licensed Insolvency Practitioner at Umbrella UK Insolvency said: “As fish and chip shops struggle with rising costs, it should serve as a reminder that our best loved industries aren’t immune from financial pressure.
“Economic challenges, like the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, can reshape our high streets and societies – driving iconic British firms out of business.”
For more information about business insolvency services, and how you can access help, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0800 611 8888.