FISH AND CHIP SHOPS WIN AT MSC SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD AWARDS Three fish and chip shops collected top awards for seafood sustainability the annual MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards. Devon restaurant chain Rockfish and Scottish fish and chip shop The Bay were joint winners of MSC UK Foodservice Champion of the Year, while Fish and Chips at Weston Grove in Chester won MSC UK Social Media Hero of the Year for the personal and creative nature of their social media content. The awards, sponsored by Seafood Scotland, were held at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum in recognition of the region’s importance for sustainable fishing and the city’s strong links to the fishing industry. Direct Seafoods won Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year while Brakes and M&J took home Foodservice Wholesaler of the Year. This year’s awards were handmade from crushed mussel and scallop shells from MSC certified fisheries in Shetland.


Online takeaway platform Foodhub erected a giant inflatable duck outside Downing Street earlier this month to call on the incoming prime minister to ‘sort out this ducking shambles’ – after food costs spiralled under Liz Truss’ short reign. The eight-metre-tall red duck was raised in protest against government inaction over rising costs and the takeaway firm has demanded the incoming PM confronts the escalating issue head-on. According to data released last month, food prices have risen at their fastest rate in over 40 years – in an event that is wreaking havoc on UK restaurants and takeaways. Foodhub CEO Ardian Mula says the issue deteriorated significantly under Liz Truss and has called upon new prime minister Rishi Sunak to urgently get a grip on the issue. In September, the price of food jumped by 14.6%, the biggest rise since 1980. Items like bread, meat, and dairy have all been affected the most. The price of importing produce and ingredients has also increased, due to the pound’s recent decline against foreign currencies. This comes in addition to the already rising cost of energy, and the ongoing cost of living crisis. In August, an industry survey found menu prices had risen 9% in the last year – as restaurants were forced to pass on rising costs to customers. At the time, industry leaders predicted that menu prices would further increase by an additional 6% over the next 12 months. However, given the economy’s recent deterioration, and continued political uncertainty, this figure will likely be higher. Ardian Mula, Foodhub CEO, said: “Restaurants and takeaways are currently under an extreme amount of pressure. Costs in every department are rising. “Not only are owners worried about how they are going to light their restaurants and power their kitchens, but they are now worried about the price of food. “Kitchen staples, such as meat, cheese, and bread have been hit the hardest. These are key ingredients in one of the nation’s favourite takeaway meals – the burger. “Some costs are already being passed onto customers, however, that can only go so far. Everyone is struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis, and consumers can’t foot the whole bill of these increases. “Britain has a great takeaway and restaurant tradition. This is now under threat. “Something must change, and more help must be offered by the government.”

INCREASE IN INFLATION COULD PUSH UP BUSINESS RATES Fish and chip shops could face considerable rises in business rates next year following a surge in inflation, industry body UKHospitality has warned. It comes as inflation hit 10.1% in September, up from 9.9% in August. With the September inflation figures traditionally used to set tax changes and rates for the following year, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls says there is a real risk that hospitality businesses will face an enormous cliff-edge in April if these numbers are used to hike the business rates tax level. Such an increase at the same time as the risk of business rates reliefs ending could prove fatal with many "fighting to survive the winter". Kate adds: "With hospitality inflation contributing heavily to the overall inflation rate, we now risk an inflationary spiral where our higher costs lead to higher taxes which lead to even higher prices. “As well as needing to reform the entire business rates system in the long-term, it’s now absolutely critical that business rates relief is extended for vulnerable sectors such as hospitality and that downward revaluations are realised in full." 4 D eliveroo’s UK orders were down 4% in Q3 as consumer spending tightened



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