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Top UK Fish & Chip Shops Take Part In Norway Study Trip As Part Of The National Fish & Chip Awards 2013

Article Date: 2012-10-10

The top ten finalists of the Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Award at this year^s National Fish & Chip Awards 2013 were invited to take part in an educational trip to Norway (1-3 October), hosted by the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The top ten finalists are: The Bay Fish & Chips, Stonehaven – best in Scotland The Crispy Cod, Tonyrefail – best in Wales Pit Stop Fast Food, Kilkeel – best in Northern Ireland Quayside, Whitby – best in North East England Richardson^s Fish Bar, Fleetwood – best in North West England Simpsons Fish & Chips, Cheltenham – best in the Midlands Burton Road Fish & Chips, Lincoln – best in Eastern England Henley^s of Wivenhoe, Wivenhoe – best in London & South East England The Wigmore Fish & Chips, Luton – best in Central & South England Hanbury^s, Torquay – best in South West England

As guests of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) the regional winners enjoyed a three day, all-expenses paid study trip to Ålesund in Norway. The finalists learned how Norway manages its sustainable fisheries in harmony with nature. During their trip, finalists visited the Norwegian trawler, Granit IV, and witnessed first-hand the entire frozen at sea cod fishing process, from catch, to processing and fileting to being frozen at sea. The finalists then had a guided tour of Sperre, a fishing production plant. The contenders also met the Institute of Marine Research to learn about the science behind Norway^s fishery management.

Johan Kvalheim, UK Director of the NSC, a key sponsor of the award, said that he was delighted the shops were able to take part in the unique experience. Johan added: "Everyone at the NSC congratulates the finalists for winning their regional title and we were delighted to invite them on this educational, once in a lifetime trip to Norway.

"As guests of the NSC, we hope that those who attended found the trip enlightening. It is our hope that they become natural ambassadors for us back in the UK, spreading the Norwegian sustainability story, sharing the information they learned with colleagues and customers.

"Ultimately the trip objective was to improve the shops knowledge and help grow their business. We wish them all the best of luck for the 2013 final.”

The ten regional winners will travel to London for the National Fish & Chip Awards 2013, organised by Seafish, the authority on seafood, at the prestigious Lancaster London hotel on 24 January 2013. It will then be announced which fish and chip shop will be crowned Independent Takeaway Fish & Chip Shop of the Year.

The finalists are the result of an arduous judging process which included the shops having an unannounced visit from industry judges. Shops were assessed on a variety of judging criteria including: product quality, food preparation procedures, commitment to customer service, staff training and development, marketing and promotional activity and their approach to sustainable sourcing.

Paul Williams, CEO of the competition organisers Seafish said: "The top ten finalists have already taken part in a tough judging process and therefore, we were extremely pleased that they could enjoy this educational programme as guests of the NSC.

"The UK and many of the markets it imports from, such as Norway, have taken huge strides in recent years in managing fish stocks to ensure that customers across the UK can continue to eat fish and chips from sustainable sources.

"The Norwegian trip provides a good example of this with cod and haddock stocks at all-time highs in that region. Fish is a vital source of food across the world so it is only right that the competition winners learn more about where it comes from and what the industry as a whole is doing to ensure that it remains a firm favourite for many generations to come.”

Fish Friers