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Why your favourite fish and chips could soon be more expensive

PUBLISHED: 18:44 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:33 04 September 2018

Fish and chip restaurants could be impacted by potato and pea price rises PICTURE ANDY ABBOTT

Fish and chip restaurants could be impacted by potato and pea price rises PICTURE ANDY ABBOTT

The poor harvest of peas and potatoes and a creeping rise in the price of cod could be the perfect storm for Britain’s beloved national dish, as price rises loom.

Henleys Fish and chip shop in Wivenhoe, taken when they were announced regional fish and chip shop of the year. Left to right, are, manager  Dave Patterson, owners, Lisa and David Henley and counter hand, Ryan Patterson.Henleys Fish and chip shop in Wivenhoe, taken when they were announced regional fish and chip shop of the year. Left to right, are, manager Dave Patterson, owners, Lisa and David Henley and counter hand, Ryan Patterson.

The poor harvest of peas and potatoes and a creeping rise in the price of cod could be the perfect storm for Britain’s beloved national dish, as price rises loom.

A freezing winter and sweltering early summer has impacted Britain’s harvests of potatoes and peas.

Fish and chip shop owners in East Anglia have reported seeing their ingredient costs rise and are mulling over whether to pass them on to customers.

David Patterson, manager of Henley’s fish and chip shop in Wivenhoe, is paying £10 for a bag of potatoes but has heard the price could double by next April to £20.

“This would be the highest price I’ve ever seen. The highest until now was £17 a bag three years ago, when we had very wet weather,” he said.

“Normally, the price drops rapidly at this time of year, but we’re being told it will go up instead. The message I’m hearing from farmers is ‘Brace yourself for a difficult year.”

In Norwich, Grosvenor Fish Bar owner Christian Motta said: “We’ve seen the prices of everything go up, from fish to potatoes to all the other vegetables. It’s not like we can shop around because they’ve increased in price across the board.”

He added: “I think we will have to increase prices in the future- only by 10p or 20p on chip portions. Other people are selling smaller portions, but that doesn’t feel right to me.”

The cost of cod is also expected to rise, with Paul Lines, chairman of Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance, saying it had increased by 2-3% in the last six months, mainly because of rising fuel prices in the transportation.

“It will probably go up by another 2-3% in the next six months,” he said. “The price is also currency related, because the Icelanders, the Norwegians and the Russians are the ones fishing our cod - very little is caught in the North Sea.”

Alastair Ward, managing director Elm Valley Foods, a Bury St Edmunds wholesaler delivering to restaurants across East Anglia, predicted price hikes were “imminent”

“Potato chips and peas are going up by 10%, which is consequential,” he said.

The lower yields experienced by farmers have meant lower margins for wholesalers. “We will be putting up our prices accordingly,” Mr Ward said. “Most restaurants will have to pass these price rises on to their customers, because its a competitive market for them.”

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