Supermarkets in the UK could face severe shortages of fresh foods, meat, and meat products in the next few weeks. The ever-increasing gas prices in the UK prompted one of the significant US fertilizer manufacturers to halt its operations, cutting down most of the UK’s carbon dioxide supply to the food industry.
In a statement, CF Industries (the US fertilizer manufacturer based in Illinois revealed that it would stop its operations indefinitely in its two UK subsidiaries citing the ever-increasing natural gas prices.
Worrisomely, the two plants are the major suppliers of the UK’s food-grade carbon dioxide, a significant byproduct of fertilizer production. The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) warned that the carbon dioxide supply shock could trigger significant food shortages within two weeks once the current gas supply runs out.
Remember, most of the UK-based meat processors use carbon dioxide to stun animals for slaughter. Similarly, food outlets use gas to extend the shelf life of baked, fresh, and chilled food commodities. Manufacturers consider carbon dioxide as a significant gas in the production of carbonated drinks.
Nick Allen, BMPA’s CEO, attributed the looming shortage to the fact that the food supply industry in the UK operates as the mercies of a small number of crucial fertilizer manufacturers spread in northern Europe.
The pressure will intensify as other European fertilizer producers like Norway’s Yara revealed that it had decided to reduce its ammonia production operations by over 40%.
Critical stakeholders in the retail sector have urged the UK government to ensure a steady supply of carbon dioxide and minimize any significant disruptions in the fresh foods supply chain.
The Government is Mobilizing Troops to Mitigate Potential Situations
The British Government, according to several reports, is mobilizing troops to ensure peace within the region. The British government wants to minimize issues at gas stations across the nation. There is a current issue of panic purchases and significant scarcity in lorry drivers or the supply of truck drivers across the country. This means that while demand is high, supply is low. You know what that usually means, right? Shortages. That is exactly what we are witnessing in Britain right now. Fuel pumps are empty because of the imbalance in supply and demand.
Reports indicate that individuals are lining up at fuel stations in the United Kingdom for their fuel.
Of course, this is causing a bit of unrest at the pumps. Individuals are not happy with what they have to go through to obtain these necessities of life and are entering into some scuffles and more tense situations.
The issue is not the lack of fuel but the lack of transportation in getting the fuel to the distribution zones.
Now, the British government is responding by potentially using the Army as truck drivers to transport the petrol from point A to point B. It certainly makes sense and serves as a logical option in this current state of chaos.
Fuel Is Critical In Several Ways
It is no surprise that shelves in supermarkets are slowly presenting less goods. As gas prices go up and shortages in fuel arise, we are seeing disruptions in the food supply as well. The demand for various goods keeps on going up but the supply is restricted. This is affecting restaurants, shopping malls, and grocery stores.
While fuel is one factor, others point to BREXIT and its impact on the economy.
Britain is now stepping outside of EU system and this means that there is more restrictions on the inflow of immigrants and the general movement of people in and out of Britain. The lack of immigration and the outflow of immigrants has opened up a wide variety of opportunities in the trucking, general labor, and services sectors.