2024 National Fish and Chip Award winners experience once in a lifetime Seafood from Norway study trip
Charlie Bennett
June 18, 2024

The Norwegian Seafood Council, proudly representing Seafood from Norway, along with Norwegian Frozen at Sea, welcomed the UK’s leading fish and chip shops and a number of key industry stakeholders to Ålesund, Norway as part of an educational study trip to showcase responsibly sourced cod and haddock – the two most popular species used by British fish and chip shops.

The three-day seafood study trip immersed the winners in Norwegian fishing culture, and gave the award winners a chance to see firsthand where and how their produce is responsibly caught in Norway’s cold, clear waters.

Dedicated to supporting the UK fish and chip industry now and in the future, Seafood from Norway, on behalf of the Norwegian seafood industry, was proud to be the headline sponsor for this year’s National Fish & Chip Awards, in addition to the Environment and Sustainability category, and extended an invitation for this trip to all category winners.

A voyage on board one of Norway’s largest Frozen at Sea vessels, Østerfjord, gave the award winners the chance to experience the cutting-edge processing techniques and facilities that give Norwegian frozen at sea whitefish its premium status. Østerfjord’s world-leading technology has been designed to minimise energy consumption and ensure that the fish caught are quickly produced and frozen at sea within four hours to lock in freshness and quality.

The UK guests were joined by The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries, and several media representatives from both the UK and Norway. As a major seafood nation, fisheries are vital for Norway’s coastal communities and a close working relationship between Norwegian fishermen, marine research institutions and authorities ensures Norway’s marine resources are managed responsibly and with a long-term perspective.

A visit to Ellingsøy, the northernmost island in Ålesund, rounded out the trip and gave the winners an opportunity to visit Brødrene Sperre, one of Norway’s leading producers of frozen at sea whitefish, where they received a tour and presentation of its modern production facilities.

With a backdrop of Norway’s cold, clear waters and mountainous landscapes, the trip provided valuable insight into how Norwegian cod and haddock, loved by UK friers and consumers alike, charts the ocean-to-plate journey. It was also an opportunity for the winners to connect with Norwegian industry stakeholders and leading experts to find out how Norway’s fisheries keep fish stocks sustainable; an inside look into the science, tools techniques, and the information that help the industry monitor the entire supply chain – from Norway to dining tables across the UK.

Victoria Braathen, Norwegian Seafood Council UK Director, said:

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and truly inspiring to host the winners of the 2024 National Fish and Chip Awards on this educational study trip to Norway for knowledge sharing and networking. It’s of great value to us to celebrate the successes of this incredible sector and we believe that by offering operators a chance to experience first-hand just where their fish comes from, and the lengths the Norwegian seafood industry is going to ensure the future of sustainable fishing, we’re developing a joint understanding of the role of sustainable seafood in fish & chips and building partnerships for the future.”

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 responsibly sourced seafood. As a fellow ocean nation, Norway is a proud supplier of seafood to British consumers, with a long-standing relationship providing sustainable cod and haddock for the country’s favourite dish.

The 2024 National Fish and Chip Award winners that attended this trip included:

· Whiteheads Fish & Chips, Environment & Sustainability Award

· French’s Fish Shop, Quality Accreditation Champion Award

· Zero Plus Fish & Chips, Marketing and Innovation Award

· Jojo’s Fish & Chips, Best Mobile Operator Award

· Wright’s Fish & Chips, Best Overseas Awards

· The Real Food Cafe, Staff Training and Development Award

· Ceres, Supplier of the Year Award

· Knights Fish Restaurant, Fish & Chip Restaurant of the Year Award

· Ship Deck, Takeaway of the Year Award

· Redcloak Fish Bar, Best Newcomer/ Drywite Young Fish Frier of the Year Award

· Taylors, Employee of the Year Award

· Bells Fish & Chips, From Field to Frier/Best Multiple Operator Award

Winners were also joined by The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), organiser of the National Fish & Chip Awards. President of NFFF Andrew Crook commented:

“This year’s winners have worked so hard, and for them to have been on the trip is brilliant. It’s a real privilege for them to visit Norway and see first-hand the vessel, meet the fisherman and experience how the seafood is caught and processed with as minimal impact on the environment as possible, particularly in such beautiful surroundings.”

“Being able to take what they’ve learnt back to their customers is important, so that they can really explain where the fish on people’s plates has come from. What’s more, there’s a fantastic relationship between the operators and suppliers now – there’s no industry like it. We all know people throughout the supply chain and being able to understand each other’s roles really benefits all parties.”

Operators can find more information about responsibly caught seafood from Norway at www.seafoodfromnorway.co.uk.

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