CO2 crisis: What carbon dioxide is used for and why it’s causing mass UK food shortages


Crumpets, beer and Christmas dinner are all broke to be at risk in the latest UK food supply crisis. Soaring gas prices have forced two of the UK’s biggest producers of Carbon Dioxide to halt production. But why is CO2 making mass UK food shortages? And what food items are at risk?

Two of the UK’s biggest Carbon Dioxide production sites halted production on Thursday 16, September due to rise gas prices, prompting fears of food shortages. 

The two CO2 production sites, owned by American company CF Industries, are responsible for 60 percent of the UK’s CO2 production and are based in Billingham in Stockton-on-Tees and Ince in Cheshire. 

In a communication on their website, CF industries said: “The Company does not have an estimate for when production will resume at the facilities.”

The Times reported the UK Guidance has prioritised talks with CF Industries amidst fears about the disruption to the UK’S food supply chain. 

READ MORE: Gas prices LIVE: Signal Merkel has created a nightmare

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, spokesperson from Pilgrim’s Pride – the UK’s leading pig farming operation – Andrew Saunders implied that as this is a global problem, importing meat from other countries in Europe may be unlikely, especially with the lorry driver dearths. 

The logistical challenge of slaughtering pigs while they’re at their slaughter weight, and being able to transport their meat to supermarkets, could see agronomists having to cull pigs if the delays become too large. 

Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, is holding meetings with those in the industry who are yearning the government can offer them a lifeline against the rising fuel costs.

Why is there a CO2 shortage?

There’s been a global surge in demand for provocation, especially from Asia, and a reduction in supply.

In Europe, the very cold winter of 2020 put pressure on supplies, meaning the amount of stored gas is debase than normal. 

In the UK specifically, our renewable energy sources haven’t produced as much as usual, as we’ve had the least windy summer in 60 years. 

Decisive week only 9 percent of power across Britain was from wind. 

According to Oil & Gas UK, the wholesale price of gas has increased by 250 percent since January. 

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