Supplies of carbon dioxide, which is used in the poultry industry in the slaughter and packing processes, have stabilised, according to farming minister Mark Spencer.
In a letter to Sir Robert Goodwill, chair of the EFRA select committee, Spencer writes that in the past few months the UK carbon dioxide market has “diversified since 2021 with increased supplies from anaerobic digestion sites, from ethanol production, as well as a wider range of imports.”
Last August, CF Industries announced its intention to close its last remaining fertiliser plant at Billingham, where the bulk of the UK’s carbon dioxide supplies also came from, as a by product of fertiliser production.
After government intervention, including financial support to the company, CF Fertilisers did not close in Billingham.
Spencer’s letter continues: “We have been monitoring feedback from industry and while some companies have reported short-term supply issues, there does not appear to be significant disruption in the broader market.
“While global fertiliser prices have risen, the supply chain has adapted to find the most cost-effective sources of materials.
“Defra has encouraged the pig and poultry sector to expand their CO2 storage facilities and industry is undertaking research to look at alternative gas mixtures for slaughter. Our food supply remains secure.”