A business owner in Oxford has said “fish and chips will be a dying trade” if costs continue to soar.

One third of fish and chip shops are expected to go out of business, the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) told the PA news agency, because of the cost of electricity and the prices of essential ingredients.

There are currently more than 10,000 fish and chip shops in the UK which serve 382,000,000 meals every year.

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Oxford Mail: File image of fish and chips. Picture: PA MediaFile image of fish and chips. Picture: PA Media

Ali Molaei, who runs Barton Chippy in Underhill Circus, Headington, told the Oxford Mail rising costs have had a “tremendous” impact on his business.

He said: “Everything has gone up.

“People are not coming out at night, people do not have enough money.

“If this trend goes on, fish and chips will be a dying trade in this country.”

“It is very bad,” he added.

The “combination of factors” causing the issues, Mr Molaei explains, are down to the increasing prices of cod, chicken, sausage, cheese, potatoes and oil, alongside energy and delivery charges.

For Mr Molaei, cod has doubled in price and the oil he uses has climbed by more than 110 per cent, up from £10.99 last year to £24.99 this year.

Oxford Mail: The price of ingredients keeps rising. Picture: Arnold GatilaoThe price of ingredients keeps rising. Picture: Arnold Gatilao

This has forced the businessman to raise the price of a large fish and chips at his shop from £7 to £8.50.

Mr Molaei said traditionally fish and chips “is a very normal food” but prices are increasing so much it is becoming a “restaurant food”.

The president of the NFFF, Andrew Crook, said: “What has happened in recent months post-pandemic is that everybody else is getting squeezed. So all of a sudden, everybody else is feeling the pinch and what’s worse is that we’re expecting a third of fish and chip shops to go out of business.”

Oxford Mail: One third of fish and chip shops could close. Picture: KCDTSGOne third of fish and chip shops could close. Picture: KCDTSG

PA also asked if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could mean an even greater number of shops going out of business, Mr Crook said shops will be in “real dire straits” if Russia places an embargo on its fish exports.

Data from the World Bank shows Russia’s fishery has the sixth largest output in the world, just behind the United States.

Mr Crook Russia: “White fish comes from Russia, because they are a very big fishing nation in the Barents Sea.

“So if we lose that, the price of fish will go significantly higher and this is on top of the current record prices we are seeing. If that happens, we are in real dire straits.”


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This story was written by Sophie Perry, she joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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