Bernard Matthews, the biggest turkey producer across the UK, has reportedly warned that Christmas feasts across the country could be canceled due to a lack of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas.
According to Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of 2 Sisters Food Group and Bernard Matthews, supply chain difficulties, and worker shortage, will adversely impact the availability of turkeys and other meat products for Christmas.
Due to a significant hike in gas prices, two big fertilizer plants in Cheshire and Teesside, that create CO2 as a by-product, have been forced to close down, reducing supplies to the food sector.
CO2 is utilized in the humane slaughter of cattle as well as to increase product shelf life. According to industry experts, it is also critical to cooling systems for refrigeration reasons.
Boparan stated that there are fewer than 100 days remaining till Christmas, and Bernard Matthews along with other poultry firms are working extremely hard to try to recruit workers to keep food supply uninterrupted.
Boparan further highlighted that he had brought up the issue earlier in July, yet there has been no fundamental change since. The gaps in supply chain have been growing by the day.
Bernard Matthews' turkey supply for this Christmas was already jeopardized since the company needed to hire 1,000 additional workers to handle supplies. However, now, with effectively no CO2 supply, Christmas is likely to be cancelled.
The CO2 issue is a tremendous blow to the that pushes the meat industry to the breaking point, this includes chicken, cattle, and pork, along with the wider food sector. Without CO2, the bottom line is that there is a reduced throughput, and with the food sector already hampered by a worker shortage, this may tip it over the edge.
Meanwhile, UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, who met with numerous sector executives on to discuss the CO2 issue, tweeted out that there is no need for urgent worry regarding gas supplies in the UK.