The head of the meat industry lobby group warned on Monday that some British meat companies will have no more carbon dioxide (CO2) in five days.
The shortage in CO2 gas would force the businesses to stop production, which impacts the supply rate to retailers.
A spike in gas prices has caused the halting of many local energy suppliers’ work, as well as fertilizer businesses.
Businesses use CO2 to knock out animals before butchers, vacuum-seal food packings, and add soda to soft drinks.
Delivery companies use dry ice, which is the solid form of CO2, in their food delivery services.
The CO2 gas crisis has caused a compounded deficiency of food truck drivers in the UK, who blamed it on COVID19 and Brexit.
“My partners say anything between five and 15 days supply (remain),” said Nick Allen of the British Meat Processors Association.
Moreover, due to the lack of CO2, meat processors cannot continue to work.
“The animals have to stay on the farm, and it will be costly to farmers due to animal welfare problems,” he said.
He added, “British pork and British poultry will disappear off the shelves,” noting that it could disappear even sooner.
CO2 crisis impact
Allen said the UK government has been working hard to fix the problem and may convince a fertilizer business to reopen.
The online supermarket, Ocado, said it had temporarily reduced the number of delivery lines in the frozen section.
The shortage of delivery lines is due to the insufficient amount of dry ice, which is used to keep items frozen during delivery.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the CO2 crisis had raised pressure on production and distribution.
Besides, the BRC represents the major supermarkets and other retailers.
The National Farmers Union in Britain raised concerns over CO2 and fertilizer shortages.
James Cleverly, the Foreign Office Minister, said the government is looking for a short-term solution to the issue.