2 Sisters Food Group owner on CO2 crisis: industry ‘at breaking point’

The last CO​crisis in 2018 resulted in a European-wide shortage of Carbon Dioxide​. The gas is used for stunning animals such as poultry and pigs for before slaughter, producing fizzy alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and as a refrigerant for temperature controlled storage. CF Industries has suspended fertiliser production at two UK plants at Stockton-on-Tees and Ince in Cheshire – where CO2​ is the main byproduct – as a result of the soaring cost of fertiliser production. However, other plants across Europe may be similarly hit.

“There are less than 100 days left until Christmas and Bernard Matthews and my other poultry businesses are working harder than ever before to try and recruit people to maintain food supplies,” ​said Boparan. “Nothing has fundamentally changed since I spoke about this issue in July. In fact I take no pleasure in pointing out that the gaps on the shelves I warned about then are getting bigger by the day. The supply of Bernard Matthews turkeys this Christmas was already compromised as I need to find 1,000 extra workers to process supplies. Now with no CO2​ supply, Christmas will be cancelled.

“The CO2​ issue is a massive body blow and puts us at breaking point, it really does – that’s poultry, beef, pork, as well as the wider food industry. Without CO2​, the bottom line is there is less throughput and with our sector already compromised with lack of labour, this potentially tips us over the edge. When poultry cannot be processed it means they must be kept on farms where there are potential implications for animal welfare, so the overall effect is welfare compromised and greatly reduced supply. Ready meals lose that vital shelf life. There is potential for massive food waste across the board.

Source: foodmanufacture.co.uk