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Seafood industry stands tall for Fish & Chip sector

Article Date: 2020-06-30

As shops re-open doors, the seafood industry vows to maintain supply and support the Fish & Chip sector through turbulent times.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted us all in ways we never thought possible and brought with it a multitude of consumer restrictions and behavioural changes, many of which will evidently stick, lockdown or not. But as the globe starts to emerge from the heavy clouds of the viral outbreak, many producers and end users are now faced with a very different marketplace than only a few months ago. We all now find ourselves in a critical period to carefully navigate with agility and innovation in order to return to as near normal as possible.

The Norwegian seafood industry will keep up with supply

All areas of the Norwegian industry and local processing partners have been operational during lockdown, including food safety authorities and vital research work which will form the basis for future catch predictions and suchlike. Norwegian seafood exports to the UK have been running relatively smoothly during the pandemic and the industry vows to keep up with supply of premium quality, sustainable frozen at sea cod and haddock, as demand from the Fish & Chip sector gathers pace once more.

Together we must prepare for new consumer behaviours

The pandemic has caused undeniable shifts in consumer behaviour and brought about changes to people’s eating and shopping habits that are likely to last far longer than any lockdown. New customers are now accustomed to online shopping, home cooking and meals around the table are enjoying a resurgence and consumers are opting for healthier and more environmentally conscious options, whilst also turning to hearty dishes for comfort. What does that mean for seafood and the Fish & Chip sector itself? It’s certainly hard to believe that the nations favourite dish will be off the menu with its numerous citings in post-lockdown bucket-lists and snaking queues at reopening shops. Fish & Chips is comfort food at the highest level – the very best of British! But there are also learnings and opportunities to consider. Perhaps there is a need for diversification, for example providing healthy and more budget-conscious options and continuing, or establishing, a home delivery initiative which doesn’t compromise on quality for those who feel less comfortable with queuing and contactless collection.

Strength lies in strong relationships and positivity for the future

As the UK continues to curb the spread of the virus, there will obviously be many hurdles to overcome but we can start looking to the future. It is crucial to maintain the valuable, collaborative relationships that you hold with your suppliers and work together to adapt to this new normal. There is no doubt that the aftermath of this pandemic will be felt for a long time, but this industry is resilient. As suppliers, shops, peers and friends we will stand united to navigate these turbulent times together.”

Written by Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, UK Director, Norwegian Seafood Council

This article is taken on issue 4 of the Fish Friers Review, you can view the magazine below;

Fish Friers