A Friday night trip to the chip shop is a tradition for many Brits, but with reports of a shortage of white fish, and pressure on the price of potatoes, could this soon be a thing of the past?
Supply information from Britain’s leading purchasing company Beacon, has revealed that quotas for haddock are down by 13% compared with 2017, which is putting pressure on pricing. Coupled with poor catching reported from both Norwegian and Russian vessels.[i], prices are rising fast, with less availability to meet demand.
Prices of potatoes could also be set to increase due to continuous challenges in the UK potato sector including market volatility, concerns linked to Brexit[ii], and pressures of the reliance on EU workers which are integral to the farming process[iii].
Paul Connelly, Beacon MD, commented: “Our insight implies that the cost of traditional fish such as cod or haddock used at your local restaurant could rise for operators, and decreased quotas and poor catches could mean supply cannot meet demand. It is also important to consider that landings impact pricing more than quotas, so it is the current combination of both quota reductions and lower levels of landings that are most likely to impact the cost of fish. This combined with challenges in the UK potato market is threatening the popularity and pricing of the traditional Friday night fish and chips.
“We predict that, like most price rises, this could impact smaller restaurants and outlets the most. These businesses are less able to absorb the rising costs forcing them to pass price increases onto their customers. Businesses could consider offering alternative types of fish such as pollock, coley or hake to keep prices down.”
In December 2017, EU ministers reached an agreement on the 2018 fishing quotas from the Atlantic, North Sea and Black Sea, meaning there will be 53 catch limits, nine more than there were in 2017.
Fish and chips was voted Britain’s second favourite food[iv], behind roast dinners, in a recent survey of 2,000 members of the public.
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Research was conducted in September 2017 by 3GEM Research & Insights, with a respondent group of 2,000 people
[iv] 11.9% of participants selected fish and chips as their favourite food, with 25% choosing roast dinners