Nick Allen voices views on CO2 shortage
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has spoken out following the CO2 shortage.
While some CO2 plants have agreed to re-start operations after having shut down for planned maintenance, fresh supplies will only start filtering through to firms in the next couple of weeks.
This means that that we can expect the food supply chain to be experiencing continued disruption during that time which comes at a cost.
If abattoirs and meat processing plants are unable to take-in animals and process products, BMPA believes there is the risk of a logjam of animals back to the farms and a consequent animal welfare issue.
Nick Allen, CEO of BMPA, commented: “I’m receiving multiple reports from meat industry companies that CO2 suppliers are allowing a bidding war to break out amongst their customers, with only the biggest companies that have the deepest pockets able to compete for scarce gas supplies.
“There have been instances of meat industry firms dispatching trucks, at vast expense, into Europe to source gas cylinders from smaller CO2 suppliers to keep factories rolling, but at a much-reduced capacity.”
Post Brexit, BMPA believes there is no clear picture of what tariffs and trade barriers the CO2 supply will be subject to, meaning we have no way of knowing whether there will be a problem or if this will become a regular problem in the future.
To tackle the issue, BMPA, along with other industry bodies and politicians, are lobbying Greg Clarke the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to take a firmer stance with the UK CO2 producers.
Allen added: “We urgently need the Secretary of State for Business to convene the big CO2 manufacturers to demand that they coordinate to minimise disruption, and provide information to Britain’s businesses so contingency plans can be made”.