Popular seafood restaurants in Dorset will remove cod from the menu due to supply issues


A popular seafood restaurant chain in Dorset will remove cod from the menu this summer due to global supply chain issues. The problem would have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rockfish, which has premises in Poole and Weymouth, said now was a good opportunity for people to try the best of British fish. This comes after global sanctions against Russia, which dramatically increased the price of whitefish caught by Russian vessels.

It is well understood that the decision will not be permanentaccording to Mitch Tonks, director of Rockfish, who spoke to Great hospitality on the changes. However, fish and chips and other restaurants are feeling the pinch, as many rely on fish supplies from Russia and oil imports from Ukraine.

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The mirror report that a third – around 3,000 – of fish and chip shops across the UK could close due to the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine, according to the National Fish Fryer Federation (NEFF). Cod is regularly bought in Russia, but since the sanctions the price of cod has jumped.

The UK bought between 40-60% of its whitefish from Russia – Russia was responsible for 45% of the world’s whitefish supply – and this was targeted with a 35% tariff in response to the invasion of Ukraine. It impacted demand for many other fish and also affected other products including fertilizers, vinegar and grains.

This combined with a shortage of cooking oil – Ukraine produced 90% of our sunflower oil, and the ripple effect drove other oils up. However, these are not the only costs, as people are increasingly affected by rising food, fuel and energy prices.

The costs of most other ingredients have also increased, and this kitchen that relies on gas fryers faces exorbitant utility bills. There has been an increase in the national minimum wage, mortgage costs and VAT as well. In addition, hardened customers begin to treat themselves less frequently.

As a result, Rockfish will remove cod from the menu to ensure the rising cost of supplies does not impact what customers pay for their meal. It comes as many other businesses in the region pledge to bear the brunt of soaring costs to protect their customers.

Rockfish have restaurants in Poole and Weymouth and are well established in the South West region. The restaurant was established in 2010 and aims to serve locally caught, sustainable fish.

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