22 May 2024

Trip of a lifetime for chip shop owner

A Hornsea fish and chip shop owner has been on a trip of a lifetime to Norway as part of his success in the National Fish & Chip Awards.

Geoff Whitehead, owner of Whiteheads Fish and Chips, was invited on the educational study trip by awards headline sponsor Seafood from Norway after taking home the Fish and Chip Takeaway of the Year Award in February.

Geoff, joined by eight other category award winners, visited the port city of Ålesund to discover the facts surrounding one of the largest cod stocks in the world. As a fellow ocean nation, Norway has long been a proud supplier of sustainable seafood to British consumers.

Geoff said: “I’ve been in this industry for 26 years and entering awards such as these are important for any business to ensure we continually progress. To win, however, and have that acknowledgment from my peers has meant the world to me.

“Having the opportunity to come on this trip to Norway has been a bonus and a mindblowing experience. I thought I knew a lot about fishing until my trip to Norway.

The advances in technology here are just astounding, but to see the way quality whitefish is produced has been breathtaking.”

The winners’ time in Ålesund provided valuable insight into how Norwegian cod and haddock is responsibly caught, frozen at sea within a matter of hours, and delivered to UK fryers. Not only did the winners learn about the vital supply chain of sustainable cod and haddock from Norway to the UK, but they also met Norwegian fishing industry representatives and studied the science behind the country’s leading fishery management programme.

Frank Bakke-Jensen, the Norwegian director of fisheries, said: “Knowledge of how to sustainably manage marine resources is one of our biggest and most important contributions to a growing world population.”

The action-packed study trip included a voyage on board one of Norway’s frozen-at-sea vessels, Atlantic.

Victoria Braathen, Norwegian Seafood Council UK director, said: “This trip proved a fantastic opportunity for the top ambassadors of the fish and chip industry to witness first- hand why origin matters when it comes to sustainable seafood.

“I hope Geoff returned armed with sustainable seafood knowhow and enjoys sharing stories of his Norwegian adventures with Whiteheads Fish and Chips’ loyal customers.”

Winners were also joined by Andrew Crook, president of the National Federation of Fish Friers, which organisers the awards.

He said: “The trip to Norway, bringing together the winners of the 2023 awards, was fantastic. Seeing first-hand 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.”

Whiteheads is East Yorkshire’s first Marine Stewardship Council-certified fish and chip shop and Hornsea’s only fish and chip shop serving a wide range of gluten-free choices seven days a week.