- Meat producers warn of shortages in two weeks due to CO2 shortage
- Bernard Matthews’ owner said shortage could affect Christmas dinner
- High gas prices have led to a shortage of gas used in food production
- Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng will hold emergency summit with energy owners
Meat producers have warned that Britain could face shortages in at least two weeks – as gas supply claims threaten Christmas dinner amid a gas crisis.
The lack of CO2 means that workers in the meat industry are unable to stun their animals before they are killed – as well as increasing the shelf life of packaged foods.
Two fertilizer plants in the north of England, which produced gas as a by-product, were recently closed, causing a major disruption in the meat supply chain.
The CO2 reduction comes as gas prices continue to rise, with Whitehall discussing the issue it has for food supplies across the country.
Business Secretary Quasi Quarteng (pictured) will hold an emergency summit with energy bosses tomorrow to work out a plan to fix the fuel crisis that has sparked fears of a major food shortage.
The British Meat Processors Association has now warned that the industry will only be able to survive for two weeks before CO2 stocks run out, Sun Report.
Association boss Nick Allen told the publication: ‘Everyone is outraged that these fertilizer plants can shut down without warning and take away much-needed supplies to the supply chain.’
Whereas Bernard Mathews and 2 Sisters Food Group owner Ranjit Singh Bopran have said that the reduction of CO2 will affect the availability of traditional Christmas dinner.
He said: ‘The supply of Bernard Matthews turkeys this Christmas was already compromised because I need to find 1,000 additional workers to process the supplies. Now, Christmas will be canceled due to no CO2 supply.’
The lack of CO2 means that workers in the meat industry are unable to stun their animals before they are killed – as well as increasing the shelf life of packaged foods (stock image).
He added: ‘The CO2 issue is a huge body shock and keeps us at breaking point.’
It comes as Business Secretary Kwasi Quarteng will hold an emergency summit with energy bosses tomorrow to emphasize a plan to fix the fuel crisis, which has sparked fears of a major food shortage.
There is growing concern that the food and beverage industry could be hit hard by the closure of two fertilizer plants in Teesside and Cheshire due to rising gas prices.
A by-product of the fertilizer production process is carbon dioxide (CO2), which is used in fizzy drinks and beer, as well as by the meat industry to stun animals before slaughter, in food packaging to extend shelf life and This is done to keep the delivery cool. If the supply of CO2 decreases, it increases the chances of meat disappearing from supermarket shelves within weeks.
Online grocer Okado told customers this weekend that it had a ‘limited stock’ of frozen items due to a national shortage of dry ice – solid CO2.
Whereas Bernard Mathews and 2 Sisters Food Group owner Ranjit Singh Bopran have said that the CO2 reduction will affect the availability of traditional Christmas dinner (stock image).
The two fertilizer plants that closed last week are run by US firm CF Industries and produce about 60 per cent of Britain’s CO2.
When energy costs increased due to low gas supplies and storage levels, they were shut down, bringing its operating cost to the rocket.
As well as the food and beverage industry, CO2 from plants is used by hospitals and the nuclear power industry.
Andrew Opie of the British Retail Consortium said yesterday: ‘This cannot come at a worse time, with a shortage of 90,000 HGV drivers already putting severe strain on food production and distribution.’
Four more small energy firms could be busted amid UK’s rocketing energy prices
One million customers may be earmarked for a new energy supplier as four smaller firms close as early as next week amid skyrocketing energy prices.
The rising cost of electricity supply has left the four firms unable to supply electricity to their customers’ homes.
According to the BBC report, four suppliers have requested large businesses to prepare for the acquisition of their supplies.
Earlier this week, People’s Energy based in Edinburgh and Utility Point in Dorset announced that they had ceased business.
This change would have affected more than 570,000 customers and 1,000 businesses.
As of early 2021, there were 70 suppliers providing energy to homes across the UK – although experts predict that number will drop to 10 by 2022.
Industry group Oil & Gas UK has warned that wholesale gas prices have risen by 250 per cent since January – with a 70 per cent jump since August.
Ahead of tomorrow’s summit, Mr. Quarteng called on energy firms in person yesterday.
Last night, to ease concerns, he said: ‘I was reassured that the security of supply was not a cause for immediate concern within the industry. The UK benefits from having a diverse range of gas supply sources, with sufficient capacity to meet demand.’
Mr Quarteng and Greg Hands, the new Energy Minister, will ask Britain’s 20 biggest energy companies tomorrow to help curb rising bills over the winter. Firms invited to the 90-minute roundtable include National Grid, energy supplier Centrica, Ovo & Bulb and regulator Offgame.
One energy boss said ministers could cut around £150 a year if they remove the ‘green tax’ on electricity, which is about 23 percent of their total.
Another industry source said the energy price cap could be reviewed more frequently, currently twice a year. The cap is announced two months in advance, potentially leaving smaller suppliers unable to cover the cost of energy they have committed to supply. Five small suppliers have been busted since August.
The rise in gas prices was due to factors including low reserves after last year’s cold winter, short supplies from Russia, rising EU carbon prices and lower solar and wind power generation this month.
Last Friday, more than 40 MEPs accused Russian energy giant Gazprom of raising gas prices as Britain and the European Union recover from the pandemic.
But Mr Kvarteng said Britain is not dependent on Russian oil and gas, adding: ‘Our biggest source of energy is from domestic production and most of the imports come from reliable suppliers such as Norway. We do not expect a supply emergency this winter.