Beer Rationing Begins In Europe Due To Carbon Dioxide Shortage

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Beer Rationing Begins In Europe Due To Carbon Dioxide Shortage

The chronic lack of gas has largely been caused by shutdowns for maintenance at plants which produce food grade Carbon dioxide which is also used, in its solid dry ice version, by grocers to keep their freezer sections operating.

"Due to the global shortage of CO2, we are experiencing some supply issues on soft drinks and beer", Tesco-owned Booker said in a statement. "We are now working hard with our suppliers to minimize the impact for our customers and to optimize availability with the stock that is available".

"We are now working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers and can not comment further at this stage".

A Wetherspoon spokesman said some pubs would be without John Smith's and Strongbow cider but said that supplier Heineken had advised both would be available again in a couple of days. Now it's panic time.

Meat company Tulip on Wednesday halted production at its Brechin site, Scotland's largest pig abbatoir, after using up its stock of CO2.

It is used to to carbonate drinks such as beer and preserve packaged food. It stressed there was no disruption to supply.

The company said it was extremely concerned about a lack of information from the gas sector about when the situation would be rectified.

The UK government is understood to be holding talks with the food and drink industry about how to manage the shortage.

"Whilst some members may still be receiving supplies of CO2, this shortage will undoubtedly impact on those many smaller suppliers who distribute locally but who will be supplied in turn by the national producers", the trade group said.

When news of the Carbon dioxide shortages broke last week Britvic was one of the suppliers believed to have been hit hardest, with several sources suggesting the company had been forced to take production "off stream" at some of its plants.

"We are working closely with our suppliers, partners and customers on a number of solutions as the situation develops".

While industrial suppliers are said to be shifting to ammonia sourced from southern Europe and beyond, Britain has lost its fizz in particular because of the longer transhipment routes and the shutdown of all but one of its own ammonia processors.

"Our focus is on limiting the effect this may have on the availability of our products".

Supermarket Morrisons said some frozen products had been affected by the shortage, and it aimed to resume selling its full online range "as soon as possible".

Poultry slaughterhouses have already called for priority supplies of dwindling Carbon dioxide stocks, saying the current shortage could have a "potentially huge effect" on British food production.

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