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A new renaissance

A renewed excitement and enthusiasm is driving change in the fish and chip industry, says Kingfisher’s Craig Maw and he for one is excited to be part of it

Is it me or is fish and chips and our industry experiencing a second wind, a reinvigoration?

You only have to look around at what is happening in our industry to see it is forging a new path for our national dish, and I like it. The destination is the same, the troubles we have are similar, but there is evolution. Fish and chips is walking stronger with its chest puffed out.

It is true to say fish and chips will have its obstacles to overcome in the future, however, I think we as an industry are better equipped than ever before to deal with these issues.

We have the NFFF, NEODA and Seafish all working behind the scenes and working closer together for the common good. Trade magazines, suppliers and other industry partners are joining in over and above their remit. They are all getting involved and it makes a difference, a big difference.

We have farmers opening up their fields and fishermen welcoming us onboard their vessels, all playing their part in our industry and feeding the hunger for knowledge.

It was philosopher Sir Francis Bacon who said “knowledge itself is power” and this is certainly true of our industry as we see the benefits and implementation of this knowledge in our businesses. Our product is getting better as we become more knowledgeable, and so are the ingredients we use to make our fish and chips, as is the equipment we use too. We are more scientific about what we do; producing fish and chips is no longer left to chance. It is calculated and methodical as we strive for the holy grail of consistent quality.

Gone are the days of just producing great fish and chips. The industry is moving into producing great fish and chips with style, and it has great shops and a great product in its armoury.

The growing professionalism and stature of our industry means we are being taken seriously and are better equipped to stand shoulder to shoulder with the big boys on the high street. We, as business owners, have the added advantage that the fish and chip shop is an integral part of the community. We are closer to our customers and we can get involved in the community more.

There is certainly a buzz around fish and chips and I sense our industry is waking up and getting involved. If you aren’t, you should because it benefits everyone.

So, to everyone in the industry, I take my hat off to you and say well done. Our industry is going somewhere and I’m glad to be a part of the fish and chip revolution.

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