Committee of MPs write to Government expressing concern over CO2

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

MPs have written to the government expressing concerns over CO2 shortages
MPs have written to the government expressing concerns over CO2 shortages

Related tags Supply chain

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has written to the Government expressing concerns about the halting of CO2 production at the CF Fertiliser plant in Billingham.

The Government was urged to intervene last week as the UK food and drink sector again faces a crisis with an impending CO2 shortage. CF Industries announced its intension to temporarily close the site due to uneconomical market conditions. 

The British Meat Processors Association and the British Beer & Pub Association raised concern​ about the impact this would have on the food and drink sector.  

Serious risks

The EFRA Committee has said that CF Fertiliser supplies 42% of the UK’s CO2, which plays a key role in the food supply chain, keeping food fresh, as well as being used in the humane slaughter of animals. It said that any disruption in supply could present serious risks to food production and security, and animal welfare.

Committee chair Sir Robert Goodwill MP has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice MP, requesting information on the length of the production stoppage, if this will impact the resilience of the UK’s food supply chain, and whether the Government is considering providing financial support – as it did in September 2021, when there was a similar risk to CO2 supply.   

Prices

He also asked what assessment the Government has made of the possible impact on fertiliser prices from a halt in ammonia production and the switch to imported ammonia. It also asked how the Government will prioritise the use of CO2, should there be a reduction in supply. 

Goodwill said: “Recent reports that CF Fertiliser will be halting production of ammonia are worrying, given the knock-on impacts this decision will have on CO2 production in the UK. Any disruption to CO2 supply could have serious effects on food production, national food security, and animal welfare.”​ 

 

 

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