The organisation has said that the CO2 crisis that is unfolding this year looks to be a lot worse than the last one in 2018.
In 2018, the UK faced a CO2 crisis, which saw a European-wide shortage of Carbon Dioxide.
The BMPA is currently lobbying the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for Government support to help prop up UK Co2 production in the short-term. It is also calling on the Government to take a firmer stance with the UK Co2 producers.
It said that the Co2 gas plays a “critical and irreplaceable” role in the food and drink manufacturing process and businesses can grind to a halt if they cannot secure an adequate supply. This means that, once their current stocks of the gas run out (estimated to be in less than 14 days) some companies will have to stop taking animals and close production lines, leading to a logjam of animals back to the farms.
For other companies producing beef and lamb they could continue producing retail packs of meat, but without Co2 used in the vacuum packing process, up to five days shelf life would be lost, the organisation has warned. Given the current food chain disruption caused by a lack of HGV drivers, this could pose an additional problem for retailers, it said.
Nick Allen, geo of the BMPA, said: “This crisis highlights the fact that the British food supply chain is at the mercy of a small number of major fertiliser producers (four or five companies) spread across northern Europe. We rely on a by-product from their production process to keep Britain’s food chain moving.”