fish and chips

Fish prices have risen drastically in recent weeks due to the war in Ukraine

One of the UK’s leading suppliers to fish and chip shops has warned it is losing customers because shops are closing under the rising costs of doing business. 

“We have a strong, loyal customer base, but unfortunately we have seen shops shutting down due to increasing costs across the board,” said a spokesman for foodservice wholesaler T Quality.

The price of white fish has risen drastically in the last few months, as sanctions on Russian boats have fuelled inflation on alternatives across the market.

The price of Norwegian wholesale frozen cod increased to £3.94 per kg in March, compared with £3.35 in December and £2.52 in March 2021, according to Mintec.

About 40% of the UK and EU’s white fish comes from Russian boats, which are currently facing sanctions due to the war.

As a result, T Quality said it is becoming increasingly difficult to source white fish at a reasonable price, and rising costs must be passed on.

To ease the pressures, T Quality is encouraging business owners to use cheaper alternatives such as frozen hake to keep prices competitive.

The spokesman said it was “difficult to put a number” on the amount of customers lost “but we are also seeing shops changing the hours they trade, especially ones located in city centres”.

“As a business, we are always working to source new products and alternatives which shops can offer,” the spokesman said. “Our regional sales managers and sales agents are in constant communication with our customers, looking to support the shops as they can.”