The NFFF 85th Annual General Meeting took place over Zoom on Sunday 28th November 2021. We would like to thank those who attended.

Prior to the AGM members were invited to nominate persons to the Board.  The Election Results are:

National Officials:

  • Andrew Crook – National President
  • Caroline Murphy – National Vice-President
  • Lesley Graves – National Treasurer

Regional Directors:

  • Malachy Mallon – Regional Director for Northern Ireland
  • John Penaluna – Regional Director for Wales
  • Stuart Devine – Regional Director for Scotland
  • David Miller – Regional Director for England
  • Hugh Mantle – Regional Director for England
  • Josette Foster – Regional Director for England
  • Tim Barnes – Regional Director for England

Craig Buckley stands down from his role of Regional Director for England

Craig has had a seat on the NFFF Board since 2015 and throughout this time has worked tirelessly for the NFFF. Craig has played a fundamental role in evolving the NFFF Training Academy, he has trained hundreds of students during his time as Head of Training, who have gone on to run successful businesses.

Due to personal circumstances Craig feels that he is currently not in a position to offer the time required to undertake the role he has held with the NFFF.

NFFF President Andrew Crook said “I would like to thank my good friend, Craig Buckley, for his many years’ hard work on the NFFF Board.  Craig has demonstrated that he is not only knowledgeable about the industry, but that he is willing to ask challenging questions when needs be. Craig has launched many careers whilst heading up training for the NFFF.  As Craig is now juggling a growing family alongside his growing business it is understandable that he wants to take a step back for now, but I have no doubt that Craig will be a future leader in the fish and chip industry. I wish him every success in the future; the NFFF and industry owe him a great deal of thanks.”

Craig Buckley said “It is with deep sadness that I must now step down from my role as Regional Director for England.

I joined the NFFF Board as a Young Fish Frier representative 7 years ago and it has been an honour to represent our industry. I was very grateful to the Officials in office at the time; Gregg Howard, Mark Drummond, and Andrew Crook, for seeing the potential in me and inviting me onto covering light duties on the Board. My role progressed over the years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed developing the Training Academy, NFFF HQ and the Young Fish Frier’s group. There have been many highs and lows as the industry has faced the various challenges over the years. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight to all members that the Board do this as a voluntary, unpaid role.  The role demands a lot of commitment and benefits the whole industry; suppliers, members and non-members and the Federation continues with their hard work, particularly the office staff and the Officials. 

As I now have 2 beautiful young children and a fiancée, now is the time that I must prioritise them.  I don’t think it’s a permanent farewell, hopefully just a short goodbye for now. I’m sure I’ll see many friends over the next few years when we begin to socialise again. Thanks to all those who have supported me on my journey with the NFFF over the last few years, in particular Andrew. To the Officials and the team at NFFF HQ, to all the members that voted for me, thank you.  I will continue to fully support the Federation when and where I can, keep positive and keep involving everyone. Thank you.”

The NFFF would like to place on record our thanks to Craig for his tireless work throughout the years and they wish him every success for the future.

Welcoming Josette and Tim to NFFF Board of Directors

The NFFF is delighted to welcome both Josette Foster and Tim Barnes to the Board of Directors. NFFF President Andrew Crook said “I am delighted to welcome both Tim Barnes and Josette Foster to the NFFF Board.  Both Tim and Josette have a wealth of knowledge to bring to the NFFF and are joining at a pivotal time as we come out of the Pandemic and as the NFFF is handed the reigns of the National Fish and Chip Awards from Seafish.  I know Tim is keen to help improve communications between the NFFF and our members, and Josette has a strong interest in supporting the next generation of fish friers so I and the rest of the NFFF board look forward to working with them both.”

Getting to know Josette

Josette is the owner of Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove which she acquired in 2016. 

During this short time Josette and her team have achieved the following success:

  • Best Newcomer, National Fish and Chip Awards 2018
  • 3rd place National Fish and Chip Awards 2019
  • Winners of Good Catch Sustainability, National Fish and Chip Awards 2019
  • Winners of Field to Frier, National Fish and Chip Awards 2019
  • Winner Heinz Food Heroes 2020
  • Gold sustainable Palm Oil Champions Chester Zoo
  • Plastic Free Pioneers, City of Chester

Prior to Josette’s time in fish and chips she worked in the education sector for 24 years, initially teaching Catering and Hospitality, and specialising in hygiene, health and safety and licensing.

Josette would finally become Assistant Principal over a wide range of curriculum areas including apprenticeships. After leaving the education sector Josette decided to join the fish and chips industry. Her husband Richard was a potato merchant for many years and her grandparents had owned a fish and chip shop in Yorkshire.

Josette said “I am extremely enthusiastic and passionate about our industry, and I am determined to help the Board to bring about change and support and advise members to the best of my ability. Membership of the NFFF and the Quality Accreditation Scheme are so, so, important and I want to encourage more members to join. We are all facing new challenges dealing with the impact of the pandemic and the current financial climate, it is now far more important to stand together.”

Getting to know Tim

Tim and his wife Kelly are the owners of Krispies Fish and Chips, based in Exmouth.

Tim together with Kelly have achieved huge success with their team at Krispies which has seen them crowned National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year at the 2019 Fish and Chip Awards.

Krispies Fish and Chips has also achieved the following awards:

  • Winners of the Staff Training & Development Award, National Fish and Chip Awards 2019
  • Winners of Marketing Innovation Award, National Fish and Chip Awards 2018
  • Winner of the Field to Frier Award, National Fish and Chip Awards 2017

Tim said “Fish & Chips is my life. I have worked in the industry since leaving catering college and I opened my first shop with my wife, Kelly, at the age of 21. At the start it was just the two of us, but over the years we have built it into a business employing over 50 people, learning so much along the way.

From the beginning our focus has always been on quality. From sourcing the best quality ingredients to giving top quality training to ensure our staff can produce the best food and customer service day in day out. We were delighted and honoured to have our efforts recognised by being crowned National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year in 2019.

I am also a strong believer in innovation, embracing change and keeping ahead of the curve. In 2019 we became the first Fish & Chip shop in the UK to offer a dedicated Click & Collect and Delivery service using our very own Krispies app. It has been phenomenally successful, and many have followed in our footsteps.

Whether its training or trail blazing, I want to use my knowledge, experience, and passion to help NFFF members reach their full potential, to believe in bigger and better ideas, to embrace the inevitability of constant change and to help keep Fish & Chips as popular as it is today long into the future.”