The decision by fertilizer producer CF Industries to shut down two British factories due to high gas prices in Europe has unexpected consequences for the British food industry. It has a shortage of CO2, which is used to stun animals in the slaughterhouse, but also in the vacuum packaging of products and for making dry ice. The carbon dioxide is a byproduct of making fertilizer.

The CO2 shortage directly affects frozen products.

Online supermarket Ocado stops its delivery because there was no more dry ice.

The meat processing industry is already warning. CO2 is mainly used for stunning pigs and chickens.

The delivery of beef and lamb will be less affected as a result, but because the gas is also used in packaging, those types of meat can be kept for up to a week less.

The food industry has called on the government to subsidize CO2, because otherwise the meat processing industry threatens to come to a standstill.

According to Nick Allen of the British Meat Processors' Association, the pig farms have stock for another two weeks, after which they have to rely on buffers.

Poultry farming does not dare to look further than 24 hours ahead.

Furthermore, the soft drink industry also needs CO2 for making carbonated drinks.

According to the industry association of soft drink companies, that sector is looking at alternative sources of CO2.

Food industry has been struggling for some time

The UK food industry has been struggling lately to fill supermarket shelves and supply enough to other customers, such as fast food restaurants.

This was due to staff shortages, which were partly caused by Brexit, after which many European workers left the United Kingdom.

The corona pandemic also played a part.

Since last summer there has been talk of a so-called 'pingdemic'.

This concerns employees who have been in contact with people infected with the corona virus.

They receive a signal from the British corona app, or ping, that they must be quarantined.