THE owner of a popular Leicester fish and chip shop has spoken out about the current cost crisis, which is being shouldered as a result of the conflict in war-torn Ukraine.
The surging price of fish and sunflower oil, have caused the ‘worst crisis’ in the trade’s long history, it was claimed yesterday, with a combination of inflationary pressures meaning that most chip shops will be unable to serve a ‘cheap’ meal and still make a profit.
The price of oil used in deep fat fryers is surging because Ukraine and Russia account for more than 50 per cent of the world’s production of sunflower seeds.
And last week the Government announced a 35 per cent tariff on Russian fish imports, which means prices paid by the hospitality industry are certain to increase.
Lefteris Eleftheriou, owner of Grimsby Fisheries on Welford Road, said he had never experiences such a big increase in his 47 years of running the business.
“For the time being, we have absorbed most of the cost, but it cannot be sustained like this,” he added.
“Inevitably we have to put the prices up. It looks as though a piece of fish will go up by almost £2 a piece.
“Most of the small fish and chip shops around here will go out of business as a result.”
According to the National Federation of Fish Friers, a third of chip shops will fail in the near future as a result of the current cost crisis.
Between 30 and 40 per cent of fish sold in chip shops comes from Russia, it revealed.
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire has spoken out in parliament about the current plight faced by fish and chip shops, which are “in a fight for their very existence.”
“Unless government provides support now, there is a real danger that fish and chip shops will go the same way as our village pubs and local post offices,” he said.
“And as costs increase there are, understandably, real concerns about demand moving forward.”
“When our own home finances get tighter, it is for many the simple luxuries, like a chip shop tea, that get cut first – especially when customers are all too conscious of the rising prices that they are paying for their favourite dish,” he added.
“I don’t want to see that happen. I have too much of an interest in fish and chips, but more importantly I have too much of an interest in those thousands of business owners who are at the beating heart of what Britain is about.”
To find out more visit the National Federation Of Fish Friers website, at: https://www.nfff.co.uk/