Ukraine war adds to pressure on UK fish and chip shops

29 May, 2022

The future of one of the UK’s favourite dishes may be uncertain due to food shortages caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The ongoing conflict has led to a shortage of four key ingredients and forced fish and chip outlets to raise prices or change their menus.

The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) has said that a shortage of sunflower oil, cod and haddock, and potatoes could see a third of fish and chips shops close.

It is the latest product to be hit by the conflict, as the war has seen a knock-on effect on many major supplies. It comes just after supermarkets imposed a restriction on the amount of sunflower oil, due to the supply chain being disrupted since Russia invaded Ukraine.

The NFFF said 50% of oil used by UK fish and chip outlets comes from Ukraine - with alternatives such as rapeseed and palm oil becoming more expensive, while up to 40% of cod and haddock comes from Russia, with sanctions hitting North Sea supplies. Meanwhile, fertiliser for potatoes - mainly from Russia - has tripled in price, while Russia also provides much of the flour used to make batter.

Many fish and chip shop operators are being forced to diversify their stock range - adding lesser-known fish to the menu, like hake - to offer customers affordable meals.

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