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Ipswich/Felixstowe: Cheap as chips? Potato price hike causing problems for chippy owners

15:02 23 January 2013

Staff at the Nacton Road Fish Bar

Staff at the Nacton Road Fish Bar

Archant

IT is one of our best loved traditions, enjoyed by families up and down the country.

Chip facts

■ During the First World War, fish and chips were one of the few foods not to be rationed.

■ It is estimated that there are nearly 11,000 fish and chip shops in the UK.

■ It is rumoured that fish and chips was on Wayne and Colleen Rooney’s wedding menu.

■ One in six adults in the UK have fish and chips once or twice a week.

A trip to the local chip shop for battered cod or a tasty saveloy is as British as a cup of tea or a game of cricket.

But following a disastrous potato harvest last year, traders in Ipswich and Felixstowe claim the old saying “cheap as chips” couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is estimated the price for a bag of potatoes has trebled since the end of 2011 – and it has hit bosses in the fish and chips industry hard.

Bob Singh, the owner of Nacton Road Fish Bar, said: “A lot of our customers know our prices are reasonable, but a lot of them don’t know the value of potatoes. I think they (prices) will go down but chips aren’t cheap anymore. “It is still a tradition and we still have a queue on a Friday night, but it is hitting people hard.”

Mr Singh said at the end of 2011, a 25kg bag of potatoes cost between £4.25 and £5.50 – but now he is forking out nearly £13 for a sack.

He recently took the reluctant decision to raise the price of a bag of chips by 10p to £1.50.

Potato supplier Rob Denison, of O.B. Denison and Son, based in Ipswich, said the problems facing Mr Singh are industry wide.

He added: “It is because of the wet weather we had when the potatoes were planted early last year.

“The crop we are using now, when it was first planted, it was cold and wet and the crops never really got going.

“There was a lot of waste.”

Mr Denison said there are now a lot of potatoes imported from other European countries – many of which also had poor harvests.

Wing Chan, of Starfish in Wherstead Road, has had to raise the price of a bag of chips at his shop by 10p because of the price of potatoes.

“It is only because of the potato prices. If it wasn’t for the problem of lack of potatoes we would be alright,” he said.

“It is the chips that make us the money.”

Steve Phagura, recently took over as the owner of Bounty Fisheries in Felixstowe.

He has not yet increased the price of his chips but he admitted it is an avenue he may need to look into in the future.

He said: “Maybe a few months down the line we will have to raise the price because we can’t keep taking the loss.”

In October last year, the Potato Council said the washout had resulted in crops suffering from stunted growth and the increased price of fertiliser has also had an impact.

10 comments

  • Still the best chippy in Ipswich :)

    Report this comment

    Fat Cobbler

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • VERY RARE I GO IN A CHIP SHOP NOW , SINCE THEY CHANGED THE FRYING OIL THERE NOT THE SAME ANYMORE ,, SO I FRY MY OWN WHEN I WANT THEM ,

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • try ellenbrook fish shop

    Report this comment

    ellebrook

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • Been listening to this reason for increasing chip prices for decades - funny how, after good seasons, they never once came down.

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • A poor harvest caused by a summer of lousy weather caused the price to go up. Who'd've guessed it?

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • It seems farmers blame the weather every year whether its too wet or too dry - any excuse to put the price of veg up!!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • a lot of people have said that to me and i replied that over heads like gas electric water rates and rates,wages raw materials also go up

    Report this comment

    ellebrook

    Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • There are no decent chippies in Ipswich.Fish n chicken at Ravenswood used to be brilliant but not since it was taken over-nowhere near as good.Every other chippy I've tasted is yuk

    Report this comment

    Mary Mary

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Nice local family run business

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • need to shop around guys, just brought a sack locally for seven quid

    Report this comment

    just my view

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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