A new analysis suggests the rising cost of carbon could add £1.7 billion to the cost of UK food.
Research from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) suggests the UK food and drink sector could end up paying the huge extra bill for liquid CO2 if gas prices remain high.
Commercial energy prices in the UK have skyrocketed over the past year, accelerated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The move had serious consequences for industries that rely on carbon dioxide, with production also halted due to rampant inflation.
CO2 is used in a number of sectors, but particularly in food and beverages, including the slaughter of pigs and chickens, to add fizz to beer and soft drinks, and to package food safely.
There are new fears that gas prices could continue to rise or even be disrupted, leading to further increases in liquid CO2 prices or a repeat of last year’s shortages.
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Companies in the food and beverage industry are already paying significantly more for energy than just a few months ago.
Fay Jones, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire and leader of the Farming APPG, said: “The price of gas adds thousands of pounds to families’ energy bills.
“Now, like last fall, it could hit the supply of CO2 and fertilizer and drive up the prices of everything from beer to bacon.”
Matt Williams, head of the climate and land program at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said: “Britain’s dependence on fossil fuels is affecting more than just families’ energy bills. It could bring the food and drink system to its knees.
“Rising energy costs are adding hundreds of millions of pounds to the food and beverage industry that customers find difficult to avoid.
“If high gas prices or even power outages force factories to close, it could create real problems for farmers and the food and beverage industry.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23009383.tesco-asda-aldi-morrisons-shoppers-issued-warning-food-price-hikes/?ref=rss Tesco, Asda, Aldi and Morrisons buyers warned of food price hikes