“Traditional British Christmas dinner in jeopardy due to high gas prices” | Economy

The high gas price in Europe is now also affecting the British food industry. Earlier this week it was announced that fertilizer company CF Industries has temporarily closed its two factories in the United Kingdom due to high gas prices. That decision also endangers turkey farming, the largest British turkey supplier warns Sky News. There are fears that the traditional British Christmas dinner will fall into the water.

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, due to a shortage of CO2. The carbon dioxide is an important by-product of the fertilizer company and that CO2 is important in the slaughter and cooling of poultry. The CO2 is used to stun animals in the slaughterhouse, but also in the vacuum packaging of products and for making dry ice.

It is mainly used for stunning pigs and fodder. 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.


Ranjit Singh Boparan, owner of Bernard Matthews, Britain’s largest turkey supplier, and 2 Sisters Food Group, the UK’s largest private food producer, says the fertilizer producer’s decision, coupled with dire labor shortages, will have an effect on supplies for Christmas.

“We are now less than 100 days from Christmas and our companies are working harder than ever to ensure supplies,” said Boparan. The businessman has been complaining for months about a shortage of workers – he is looking for about a thousand employees – and now the CO2 shortage is on top of that. “This brings us to a breaking point,” it sounds.

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The British Secretary of State for Industry Kwasi Kwarteng had a meeting with a number of businessmen on Saturday about the CO2 shortage. Afterwards, the minister tweeted that there is no cause for concern. But according to Boparan, there is indeed a “national security problem” that should be solved as soon as possible, for example by allocating CO2 stocks as a priority to the food sector. The fertilizer sector is strategically important, it still sounds, and so it should not just close because of price inflation. “That is irresponsible (…) the government has to intervene or we have to cancel Christmas again.”

Empty rack

The UK food industry has been struggling lately. The sector is struggling to fill supermarket shelves and supply enough to other customers, such as fast food restaurants. This is due to staff shortages, which were partly caused by Brexit, after which many European workers have left the United Kingdom. The corona pandemic also plays a role.

Also read: Why have energy prices increased so dramatically? Who is affected? And what can you do about it yourself? (+)

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