The Norwegian Seafood Council, proudly representing Seafood from Norway, has welcomed the UK’s leading fish and chip shops to the western shores of Norway as part of an educational study trip to showcase cod and haddock – two of the most popular species used by British fish and chip shops – and demonstrate why Norway is credited as a leading whitefish nation.
Dedicated to supporting the UK fish and chip industry, and in continuation of sponsoring the 2023 National Fish & Chip Awards, each category winner was invited to Norway, Ålesund, on a three-day seafood study trip.
The winners’ time in Ålesund provided valuable insight into how Norwegian cod and haddock that fills UK fryers, is responsibly harvested from Norway’s cold, clear waters. Not only did the winners learn about the vital supply chain of sustainable cod and haddock from Norway to the UK, they also had the opportunity to meet with the Norwegian fishing industry and study the science behind the country’s successful fishery management programme. In collaboration with the Norwegian Frozen-At-Sea (NFAS), UK guests were joined by the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Sunnmøre and Romsdal Fisheries Sales Organisation, and media representatives.
The action-packed study trip included a voyage onboard Atlantic, one of Norway’s frozen-at-sea vessels, where the award winners experienced first-hand the Norwegian fleet’s world-class sustainable fishing and processing facilities. And a visit to Ellingsøy, the northernmost island in Ålesund, gave guests an opportunity to meet with Brødrene Sperre, one of Norway’s largest producers of wild caught fish, to explore their modern production facilities.
Said Victoria: “It’s important to us to support the industry and help celebrate the successes within, making it a pleasure to host the winners of the 2023 National Fish and Chip Awards on this educational study trip to Norway for knowledge sharing and networking among key industry stakeholders.”
This trip proved an important opportunity for the top ambassadors of the fish frying industry to witness first-hand why origin matters when it comes to sustainable seafood. As a fellow ocean nation, Norway is a proud supplier of seafood to British consumers, with a long-standing relationship providing a bounty of sustainable cod and haddock for the national dish.
Speaking on the value of sustainable seafood, Frank Bakke-Jensen, the Norwegian Director of Fisheries told the group: “Knowledge for how to sustainably manage marine resources is one of our biggest and most important contributions to a growing world population.”
The 2023 National Fish and Chip Award winners joining this trip included:
• Harlees Fish & Chips, Wimborne Best Multiple Operator of the Year Award Richard Long, Director
• Fish City, Belfast, Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year John Lavery, Owner
• Fish City, Belfast, Environment and Sustainability Award, Robert Leahy
• The Real Food Café, Tyndrum, From Field to Frier Award Sarah Heward, Founder and Co-owner
• Whitehead’s Fish & Chips, Hornsea, Fish and Chip Takeaway of the Year, Geoff Whitehead, Director
• Lighthouse Fisheries of Flamborough, Flamborough, Best Newcomer Award, Gary Sharples, General Manager
• The Chesterford Group, Bishop’s Stortford, Staff Training and Development Award, Hugh Lipscombe, Chairman
• The Fish Works, Largs, NFFF Quality Accreditation Champion, Tiffany Irvin, Owner
• Henry Colbeck, Supplier of the Year, Callum Bellshaw, Buyer and FAS Fish Category Specialist
Winners were also joined by The National Federation of Fish Friers, organiser of the National Fish & Chip Awards, president of NFFF Andrew Crook, commented:
“The National Fish and Chip Awards are the biggest driver of standards in the fish and chip industry, we also take pride that they have built a strong network for fish and chips across the UK.”
“The trip to Norway, bringing together the winners of the 2023 awards, was fantastic. Seeing firsthand the catch methods and processing out at sea – within hours of being caught to lock in that freshness – simply explains why the quality is so good when the fish reaches our shops!”
More information about sustainably caught Seafood from Norway can be found at www.seafoodfromnorway.co.uk.