The British Poultry Council welcomes Government intervention following discussions on ongoing CO2 shortages in food production.
Earlier this week, a commercial decision to halt fertiliser production at two plants providing up to 60% of Britain’s CO2 production risked compromising CO2 supply for several sectors, including vital food production. CO2 production must be considered something that is in ‘the national interest’ and both prioritised and financially supported by Government to keep food moving.
Update: 22nd September 2021
The British Poultry Council welcomes the action the Government has taken to secure an agreement to ensure C02 supply. This short-term arrangement, lasting for three weeks, will ensure immediate supplies to the food sector to avoid our worst-case scenario of empty supermarket shelves.
British Poultry Council Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said: “We are pleased that the Government has listened to us and acted quickly. This announcement is good news for the short term continuation of CO2 production to keep food moving, but this is just the start of a long road ahead. This episode has demonstrated the importance of CO2 in British poultry production, to avoid both bird welfare and supply issues. Food is a national security issue and must be treated as such: total poultry production in this country is around 20 million birds a week.
Supply is not something you can simply switch on and off, as this crisis has demonstrated. Our member businesses have worked tirelessly to mitigate the issues brought on by shortages these past few days but we must now start thinking longer-term. The run up to Christmas requires additional pressure on existing supplies as demand increases across the board. We look forward to working with Defra and BEIS to look at longer-term solutions to mitigate future impact on food supply in the UK.”
21st September 2021
British Poultry Council Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said: “Today, industry met with George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to discuss the ongoing issue of CO2 shortages in food production.
The announcement that the Government has reached an understanding with CF Industries is good news for the continuation of CO2 production to keep food moving. We thank the Government for this intervention. We are currently waiting for Defra to facilitate how this will work in practice.
This is just the start of a long road ahead. This episode has demonstrated the importance of CO2 in British poultry production, to avoid both bird welfare and supply issues. Food is a national security issue and must be treated as such: total poultry production in this country is around 20 million birds a week. The whole poultry meat industry is working tirelessly to avoid food shortages or the worst case scenario of empty supermarket shelves.
We will continue our work with Defra and BEIS on this issue.”
This week, the British Poultry Council called on Government to:
- Prioritise CO2 supplies to poultry meat production on the grounds of maintaining food supply and avoiding bird welfare issues.
- Financially support (Until the end of the year) the UK production of CO2 through the continued operation of fertiliser plants.
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