The British Poultry Council has welcomed a new agreement to ensure a sustainable supply of CO2 vital for food production. The agreement will enable CF Industries’ Billingham plant, providing up to 60% of Britain’s CO2, to operate with little-to-no compromise to food supply or bird welfare.
CO2 is used in the British poultry industry for stunning, packaging and refrigeration. A shortage of CO2 impacts production processes, as seen following a commercial decision to close the plant in September 2021.
In September 2021, the government provided limited financial support for CF Fertilisers’ operating costs for 3 weeks. The industry then came to an agreement in October without taxpayer support to ensure CF Fertilisers on Teesside could continue to operate for 3 months.
In a statement the government said it would “like to see the market take measures to improve resilience, and we are engaging on ways this could happen.”
British Poultry Council Chief Executive, Richard Griffiths, said: “The announcement of an agreement to ensure supplies of CO2 for industries like our own is a good thing. The last thing Britain’s food producers need right now, against a backdrop of high energy prices and food inflation, is more pressure. CO2 must be considered something that is in the ‘national interest,’ and we have been working closely with Government to avoid disruption in this area of our supply chain.
This agreement will enable the Billingham plant to operate as we, along with other sectors, navigate this tricky period of high energy prices and food inflation. We look forward to continuing our work with key Government departments and officials to ensure resilience is built up in this area.”