Price of Meat Could Rise After UK Government Strikes Deal With Carbon Dioxide Supplier, Report Says

© REUTERS / Hannah MckayFresh meat is displayed for sale in a butchers meat counter in Great Yarmouth, Britain, March 21, 2018
Fresh meat is displayed for sale in a butchers meat counter in Great Yarmouth, Britain, March 21, 2018 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.10.2021
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used in the meat processing industry to stun poultry and pigs before slaughter. It is also injected into packaging to extend the shelf life of meat in supermarkets.
The British meat industry has reacted angrily after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng agreed a long-term deal with CF Industries, the company which supplies the bulk of the UK’s CO2.
The Daily Telegraph reported that sources within the meat processing industry feared the price of CO2 could jump from £200 a ton to as much as £1,000, which would force them on to push up the price of meat charged to supermarkets and ultimately consumers.
Last month CF Fertilisers, which produces 60 percent of the UK’s CO2 as a byproduct, announced plans to shut its two main plants due to the hike in natural gas prices.
The government stepped in and provided three weeks of emergency state subsidies and they have now done a deal with CF which will mean UK meat producers will “have a sustainable supply until the end of the year.”
In a statement the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: "CO2 suppliers have agreed to pay CF Fertilisers a price for the CO2 it produces that will enable it to continue operating while global gas prices remain high, drawing on support from industry and delivering value for money for the taxpayer.”
The British Meat Processors Association said: “The industry has been given no detail on what the price will be or how it will be calculated going forward.”
They said they understood Mr Kwarteng had decided to temporarily exempt the CO2 industry from competition law in order to push through the agreement.
In September the government said food producers should be ready for a 400 percent rise in CO2 prices because of rising energy costs.
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