Following pressure from the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), the government has raised the autonomous tariff quota on the import of cold-water prawns, meaning the prawn cocktail is back on the Christmas menu for millions of families.
In a letter written to DEFRA in June, the trade association called for an urgent increase in the cold-water prawn quota to avoid high prawn prices and shortages at Christmas. Without increasing the quota, processors would have been forced to import cold water prawns at the full 20% rate of duty, threatening the supply of prawns in the run-up to Christmas.
Rupert Ashby, chief executive of the BFFF said: “I am pleased that the government has listened and has taken action to prevent yet another price hike being passed on to consumers. Many people have been worried that a shortage of prawns at Christmas would have meant missing out on the classic prawn cocktail, but I’m delighted that this staple is now back on the menu.
“The quota ensures the UK seafood processing industry has access to a steady supply of tariff-free imported prawns at a competitive price. While the increase to the quota is good news, it is only a temporary solution as there is still no post-Brexit trade agreement in place with Greenland, one of the UK prawn market’s most important suppliers.
He added: “Although our members have been told to expect a trade deal to be signed in the next few months, we are still awaiting clarity from the government which is vital for our members to properly plan ahead for a busy winter.”