The rising price of fish and meat and the effect on the hospitality industry.

Video report by Victoria Grimes.

Every morning Nick Jesse is at his shop for 3am, ready to unload fresh fish brought on wagons from ports around the UK. He has been working in the family business for 40 years.

Nick Jesse

Harry Jesse Son & Co Ltd started trading from the original Wholesale Fish Market in Great Charlotte Street, Liverpool, in 1942, when deliveries were made by horse and cart from the local rail network.

The company moved to premises on Prescot Road, where it remained under the guidance of Harry’s son, Stan Jesse. Stan's son Nick is the third generation of the family to run the well known business which supply many restaurants and hospitality venues across the North West.

The business was started by Nick's grandfather Harry Jesse in 1942. Credit: Harry Jesse Fish and Seafoods

But since Brexit, rising operating costs and shortages of fresh catch have caused Nick a headache.

''The less fish they catch, the more money it makes, everyone's bidding and bidding on it and the price goes up. There's a price war between suppliers on the dockside.''

''The restaurants all want variety to put on their menus  - sometimes we don't have it, or we do have it, but the price is through the roof.''

Fresh catch at Harry Jesse.

At Hogan's butchers in Huyton, it is a similar story.

Dave Hogan and his team have supplied meat to the the hospitality industry throughout the North West for the past 30 years.

Hogan's supply meat to the catering industry.

Dave told Granada Reports that prices are continuing to rise.

''Lamb is a prime example of how meat prices have gone up. Whole lambs we usually pitch out at this time of year around £120 a piece. This morning, they are £160 a piece - that is a massive percentage increase.''

The price of lamb continues to increase.

''A leg of lamb that comes off these animals would usually cost around £25. At the moment they are going up to £40 pounds.''

Dave Hogan says meat prices are going up.

But he is optimistic things will eventually level out:

And it's those costs and shortages which are worrying restuarant owners like Paul Askew  at the Art School.

Lockdowns and enforced closures have meant the hospitality industry has already been hit hard by the Pandemic. Now, rising food costs, supply chain issues and a shortage of staff are adding to the stress.

Paul Askew is Chef Patron of The Art School restaurant in Liverpool.

''Things like Turbot and John Dory and other 'prime' fish are incredibly scarce, or impossibly expensive so we can't put them on the menu.''

''And then there's the problems trying to import things like wine and olive oil from the continent. We would normally just call and it would be 'oh yes, it'll be there tomorrow,'-now we just don't know if that's going to hapen or not.''

Paul says food chain supply is not the only issue - the staff supply chain - both getting enough staff, and also the right staff, is also a challenge:

Paul Askew

''Unfortunately a combination of Brexit and Covid-19 means we have lost quite a few staff to other industries or they have gone back home to European countries. For specialist skilled positions which were difficult to fill before the pandemic, for example pastry chefs and sommeliers, we have had to obtain a special license so that we are able to start interviewing abroad and then bringing in staff from there.''

Paul says he has managed to recruit a pastry chef from Spain but has already been waiting for eight months for official approval.

And at a time when the hospitality industry is trying to get back on it's feet - these are headaches that no restaurant owner needs:

Paul says it is now vital to get the hositality industry back on track. He is about to open a new restaurant called Barnacle at Liverpool's Duke Street market.

The venue will create 16 new jobs and will hopefully prove a successful business model that others in the industry can follow.

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