Government United Kingdom Agreed to subsidize a large American fertilizer manufacturer. United States Aiming to restart the production of carbon dioxide (CO2), essential for Britain’s food supply, at the cost of millions of pounds for taxpayers.
The government announced the extraordinary intervention in a statement late on Tuesday (21). The project is expected to allow Illinois-based CF Industries (CF) to restart one of its two plants in the UK and re-supply CO2 to the food and beverage industry. A safe restart of the ammonia plant is expected to take “several days”, CF Industries said in a statement.
CF Industries last week decided to shut down operations at its fertilizer plants in the UK because they were no longer profitable due to rising natural gas prices.
The announcement raised warnings about a food supply crisis as its factories produce about 60 percent of Britain’s food quality carbon dioxide.
This gas is used for slaughtering animals, for packaging and making soft drinks to extend the shelf life of fresh, chilled and baked goods.
The British Meat Processors Association warned on Friday that food shortages could occur within 14 days if current supplies of CO2 gas are depleted.
The UK government said on Tuesday it would provide “limited financial support” for the operating costs of CF fertilizers for three weeks, after which food producers would have to pay higher fees for CO2.
Future contracts Natural gas It has almost quadrupled in the UK since April, according to data from the Intercontinental Exchange. Gas prices are rising sharply in other parts of Europe.
The ‘fragility’ of food distribution
Environment Secretary George Eustis says the deal with CF Industries will cost UK taxpayers “millions of pounds.”
Eustace told the BBC on Wednesday (22) that without government intervention, Britain’s food supply chain would be in jeopardy.
He believes that the rising cost of CO2 is unlikely to lead to higher food prices, which are already rising due to rising commodity prices and wage pressures associated with labor shortages.
The National Pig Association (NPA) said last week that its members were facing the biggest crisis in two decades as a result. Labor shortage Associated with Brexit and infection.
Joe Davis, the association’s chief executive, told ITV News on Monday that pig farms had run out of space to accommodate their flocks and that they had two weeks to kill the animals because of a shortage of truck drivers and even meat staff.
“Many EU workers [União Europeia] The NPA said in a statement last week that they have returned home and are unlikely to return due to the combination of the new Brexit and Govt restrictions.
According to the NPA, meat processing plants say efforts to recruit domestic workers are not enough to fill “thousands of vacancies in their places.”
The impending shortage of CO2 strongly illustrates the weakness of the supply chain [de alimentos]Minute Potters, president of the National Farmers Association, said in a statement Tuesday.
“Consumers of carbon dioxide have received little or no warning that supplies will be cut – a sign of market failure in an industry that supports our vital national infrastructure,” he added.
CF Industries chairman Tony Will said the company would work with the UK government to create a “long-term solution” to the controlled distribution of CO2.
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