Industry boss warns supply chain 'one more shock' away from ruined Christmas

22 September 2021, 10:08 | Updated: 22 September 2021, 10:22

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A food industry chief has warned that the UK supply chain is "fragile" and called on the industry to "get its act together."

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation said he welcomed Government intervention in the carbon dioxide (CO2) crisis.

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money will be paid to CF Fertilisers to help them restart their plant in Teesside for three weeks.

The company stopped operations at two plants because of soaring gas prices.

Gas crisis: Taxpayers to pay towards restart of CO2 production

There are concerns about shortages of CO2 in the food and drink sector, as the gas is used in packaging.

Abattoirs are also running out of the gas, which is used in the humane slaughter of animals.

The shutdown of CF Fertilisers' plants coincided with maintenance at two other factories which supply CO2 to the UK.

Watch: 'Christmas is safe' but there are 'challenges', Environment Secretary warns

Mr Wright said: "I think it's a temporary solution but it's a welcome one and means there won't be many noticeable shortages on the shelves, although there are already some because of staff shortages."

He said the industry needs to "get its act together".

Read more: Gas crisis: major CO2 supplier restarts UK production

Read more: No question of lights going out this winter, says Kwarteng amid gas price crisis

Mr Wright also warned that although food would not continue to enter warehouses in the lead-up to Christmas, "the supply chain is so fragile that any other shock might do it in as well".

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