British hoard fish and chips at Dutch exporters

With the Brexit ahead, the British are hoarding fish and fries in Flevoland. Shops and snack bars in Great Britain want to be sure that after 1 January they can offer the ingredients for fish and chips, the national dish par excellence. Some fish exporters currently put up to 50% more fish on transport than usual.

โ€œ Customers are clearly hoarding to build extra stocks,โ€ says Frank Scholten of French fries supplier Aviko at Omroep Flevoland. โ€œThe volumes from the United Kingdom are indeed rising considerably.โ€ It is not surprising Scholten that so much is imported. In addition to higher import tariffs, more delays at the borders are expected as of 1 January.

British companies are concerned

Van der Lee Seafish in Urk confirms the image. โ€œSome customers order up to 25 percent more than usual,โ€ says spokesman Gijs van der Lee. According to him, British companies are concerned about what will happen after 1 January and will stock up as many ingredients as possible as soon as possible. Other fish processing companies on Urk also notice that. They record export increases of up to 50%.

The hoarder anger of the British is not only noticeable in Flevoland. In recent weeks long traffic jams have arisen for Calais, where the freight train leaves for England. Also on the access roads of the boat from Hoek van Holland to England it is extremely busy.


Fish-and-chips can‘t be imagined from British culture. Each town or village has a ‘chip shop‘ where the snack can be picked up, usually packed in dripping, greasy newsprint. In total, the British spend ยฃ1.2 billion a year (about โ‚ฌ1.3 billion) on a fried fish with fries. Even the British Queen Elizabeth loves fish and chips. She regularly eats the dish at lunch, revealing her ex-chef Darren McGrade recently.

But no matter how British fish and chips are, for the fish used, the British depend on Dutch fishermen. โ€œWhat British fishermen catch, they don’t eat and they don‘t catch what they eat,โ€ says Geert Meun of the association of boring fishermen VisNed. โ€œFish-and-chips are mainly cod and they don’t catch them there. British fishermen mainly catch Norwegian lobster, flatfish, blue mackerel; all for export. For what they eat, they depend on Dutch fishermen, who catch cod.โ€

Meun is therefore convinced that demand for Dutch cod will continue, even after 1 January. But whether that is good news for the fish processing industry is unclear. According to Van der Lee in Urk, the British are not going to eat more or less fish. In January, he expects a fall in exports. โ€œThe British are only covering for the future.โ€