The Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) is rolling out an educational programme to provide fish and chip shop operators with more information on sustainable fish and support them in passing this on to their customers.
Kick-starting the campaign is ‘Fish & Tips: A guide to sustainable frying and business’, a three-part video series designed to communicate the importance of sustainable fish and business operations, and to provide friers with all the tools they need to communicate to their customers the great value they are getting in every portion. As well as exploring fish origin and produce sourcing, the videos cover topics such as oil management, sustainable staffing and customer communication/marketing.
The videos have been created following a recent survey of fish and chip shop operators – carried out by the NSC in partnership with the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) – which revealed that 88% of fish and chip shop owners find the issue of sustainably sourced fish especially important, but the majority struggle to communicate this to their customers.
Additional research shows that only 24% of those who regularly eat fish and chips would know what to look for in a sustainable fish offering when visiting their local outlet, and 74% of Brits want fish and chip shops to do more to educate them about the sustainable credentials of the fish they sell.
This confirms that sustainability is considered essential for the industry to function going forward: 71% of people surveyed agreed that understanding the origin of the catch from a fish and chip shop is important to them. A substantial number of fish and chip shops across the UK are already using sustainable fish, not just for the sustainability credentials, but for the quality. Operators are keen to reassure their customers that the delicious fresh fish they are consuming comes from sustainably managed and regulated resources.
Each of the three videos covers a different topic highlighting the importance of fish and chip shop sustainability, including:
The business case for sustainability
The importance of sustainable produce and operations
How to communicate the sustainability message to customers
The videos showcase best practice from fish and chip shop operators to inspire viewers to make any necessary changes. They provide the steps operators can take to improve their sustainability credentials, and to start effectively communicating this to customers. This can ultimately create loyalty, add value to business and, in turn, drive sales.
John Molnar, owner of The Cod’s Scallops, features in the videos and says: “This is all about transparency at sea, and for my business this is an asset. For the Norwegians, their production is 100% above board. I’ve seen it, and I can tell you how this fish is caught and how it is processed: all caught, processed and frozen within six hours. This is renewable protein that I continue to feed my customers, and they want to know where it’s from. They are savvy, and we made them a promise years ago that we could even tell them which vessel caught it.”
Hans Frode Kielland Asmyhr, UK director, Norwegian Seafood Council, adds: “Consumers should be aware that by purchasing from a sustainable shop, they are contributing to the future of our oceans and its fish stocks.
“We’re very proud of the Fish & Tips initiative. We hope it will support operators throughout the industry to consider the origin of their ingredients, while also giving their customers insight about what goes into a typical fish and chip meal.”
Norway is home to the world's largest cod stock, and over 37m meals containing Norwegian seafood are served worldwide every day. For many years, Norway has been at the forefront when it comes to maintaining and regulating sustainable fisheries. By choosing fish labelled Seafood from Norway, operators can be confident that they really are serving their customers the best quality seafood.
The Fish & Tips video series is available for all fish and chip shop operators to watch on YouTube here. They can also be found on the NFFF’s website as part of their training resources.