Now in its fifth year, the NFFF Quality Award 'Champion' Award was created as an extension to the National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) quality accreditation scheme - a rigorous industry benchmark that was launched in January 2011. It is only open to businesses holding an already existing NFFF Quality Award and crowns the ultimate 'champion' of the prestigious accreditation programme.
Designed to acknowledge fish and chip businesses that continue to raise the standards of the nation's fish and chips, it rewards shops and restaurants that achieve the perfect balance between quality products, clean hygienic premises, outstanding shop appearance and highly trained staff.
To secure a place as a finalist, shortlisted businesses have been appraised by industry experts across a wide variety of judging criteria including, NFFF Quality Award promotion to customers, communication of the benefits to the wider industry, and plans to promote and support the award in the future.
Craig Buckley, Regional Director at The National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF), said: "Launched in 2011, The NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award is offered to the industry by the NFFF to improve operating standards and showcase best practice to UK wide consumers. The NFFF also now works in conjunction with the Marine Stewardship Council as part of the appraisal and accreditation process for the Quality Award
"Incorporating our award into The National Fish & Chip Awards provides NFFF Quality Award-accredited shops the chance to compete to become the top champion within the NFFF Quality Award 'Champion' Award category.
"The standard of entries received this year were once again very high and the judges were impressed by the level of dedication that shops display towards promoting the NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award. Each of the finalists has effectively demonstrated the way in which the award has positively impacted on both staff motivation and financial turnover."
Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, said: "The NFFF's Fish & Chip Quality Award has been an important influence on today's fish and chip businesses. It is therefore vital for us to acknowledge and celebrate those with NFFF accreditation, while promoting its significance to customers and resultant business benefits to other fish and chip operators.
"Standards across the fish frying industry as a whole in the UK are remarkably high, and it's encouraging to see so many businesses striving to meet these standards. However it's essential that we keep this passion alive by continually pushing fish and chip outlets to set ever higher standards for the rest of the industry to aspire to - safeguarding the nation's favourite takeaway for years to come."
Culminating in an awards ceremony in London on 26 January 2017, The National Fish & Chip Awards are recognised as one of the most prominent and respected seafood industry events in the UK. Widely considered as the 'Oscars' of the fish frying industry, they celebrate the Great British tradition of fish and chips, recognising the best talent, quality and choice offered by fish and chip businesses through 13 different award categories.