Suffolk CO2 supplier says Government interventions won't help industry
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An Ipswich gas supplier says that Government's intervention to stop shortages in the CO2 industry won't solve the problems it's facing.
Cellair Ltd. provides food grade gases that are used in the beer and soft drink industries.
Owner David Lancaster says he believes it will take time for the sector to get back on its feet after widespread shortages of the gas.
Spiralling energy costs have led to the suspension of operations at fertiliser plants – which produce CO2 as a by-product – having a knock-on effect on the food industry.
On Tuesday, the UK Government struck a deal with Cumbrian-based plant owners, CF Industries (CF) to restart them.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said the Government would support CF “just for a few weeks” at a cost of “possibly tens of millions” of pounds.
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However, Mr Lancaster says that the Government's intervention won't solve the CO2 shortage problems which has led to empty shelves and a lack of fresh meet in supermarkets.
"It's only a short term fix," he said.
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"It's going to take two weeks or more to get to normal."
In the meantime, Cellair is having to closely monitor the situation with its customers.
"We are managing the situation with our customers," he said.
"We have had to go on a percentage."
Rather than calling for the Government to spend millions of pounds dealing with the issue, Mr Lancaster said he would rather the sector resolve its own issues.
"The less Government intervention the better," he said.
"I am sure it will sort itself out."
Cabinet minister George Eustice said that the intervention was necessary.
“It will go to ensuring that two critical plants that produce carbon dioxide which is critical to our food supply chain continue to operate and therefore sectors like the poultry sector, meat processors in poultry and pigs, can get access to the carbon dioxide they need," he said.
“The reason, sometimes, it is justified for the Government to intervene in this way, in a very short-term, targeted way, is that if we didn’t, there would be a risk to our food supply chain – that’s not a risk the Government is willing to take.”