Industry figures have warned that shoppers would see shortages within 10 days due to the carbon dioxide crisis
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The Government has struck a deal with a major carbon dioxide supplier to avert shortages which have triggered food supply chaos.
Fertiliser firm CF Industries – which produces CO2 as a by-product – halted operations at two UK plants this week due to soaring gas prices.
CO2 is widely used in the food industry in the packaging process and for prolonging the shelf life of products like meat.
Industry figures have warned that shoppers would see shortages within 10 days if there was no intervention.
The Government has come to an agreement with the firm to restart production, with more details expected this afternoon, according to Sky News.
It comes after several days of crisis talks between the company and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
Mr Kwarteng said earlier on Tuesday that he was optimistic of securing a deal with the US firm today.
“We are hopeful that we can get something sorted today and get production up and running in the next few days,” he said.
Mr Kwarteng hinted production could be subsidised so food and drink supplies are not hammered after days of crunch talks with the firm, which has plants in Cheshire and Teesside.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson told reporters in New York that the Government was “talking to the energy companies, doing what we can to keep prices low” and making sure “that the supermarket shelves aren’t empty”.
He said there were “very, very good supply chains in the UK”.
Food and Drink Federation chief Ian Wright said potential shortages of CO2 supply were “a real crisis” and warned that the system was under “the most strain it has ever been in the 40 years it has been there”.
Poultry and pig production will begin to collapse by the end of this week, as well as bakery goods, he said.
He said: “We probably have about 10 days before this gets to the point where consumers, shoppers and diners notice that those products are not available.”
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