Pig farmers fear that animals may have to be weeded out



Pig farmers are afraid that animals will have to be killed immediately due to the lack of carbon dioxide in slaughterhouses due to soaring gas prices.

CO2 is widely used in the food and beverage industry, including stunning animals in slaughterhouses before meat processing.

However, some CO2 suppliers have stopped production due to rising energy costs and are creating a huge backlog of pigs that must be killed at some point.

Food and beverage industry groups say the UK may need to subsidize CO2 production.

Farmer Kate Morgan told the BBC on Monday, “Thousands of pigs are stuck on the farm. If you can’t kill the pigs at the meat processing plant, unfortunately you’ll be killing them on the farm.”

Carbon dioxide used in the meat industry By-product of fertilizer production.. This gas is used not only to keep food fresh, but also to dry ice and soft drinks.

CF Industries, a US-based company that produces about 60% of UK food-grade CO2, Stopped production at two fertilizer plants in the UK.. Norwegian company Yarra has also cut production at many plants in Europe.

“Quite miserable”

Morgan, who runs a pig farm near Driffield in eastern Yorkshire, Talked to BBC 5 Live’s Wake up to Money program Due to labor shortages, the industry situation was already “quite miserable.” Now, she said, meat shortages in supermarkets could be realistic.

“The slaughterhouse has a gas supply for about a week. It’s a chain. Pigs that need to go home are constantly coming out of the breeding herd. Those homes need to be emptied.”

Her farm sends about 1,500 pigs to the slaughterhouse each week.

Killing her own animal is not something she can bear to think about. “I can’t even start thinking about what to do. I don’t want to put people working for us into that situation,” Morgan said.

Farm killings mean that meat cannot enter the food supply chain. “It will be in vain,” she said.

CO2 graphics

CO2 graphics

It is estimated that about 100,000 pigs remain on the farm, otherwise they were sent to slaughter, and due to staff shortages, untreated pigs began to grow a few weeks ago.

Andrew Saunders, director of Pilgrims Pride, Britain’s largest pig producer, said there was no other way but to surprise with CO2. “It’s an essential part of the process,” he told the BBC.

Sanders, who is also the president of the British Meat Processors Association, said: Labor shortage in those factories. “

CO2 subsidy

He said the pigs “can be bred on the farm for a very short period of time. They exceed the target slaughter weight and are then unsuitable for the size of the packets we have for our customers.” Told.

“We hope that the government can intervene to bring these CO2 plants back into operation. The particular plant in question supplies about 60% of all UK needs and is to move this very quickly. Need something. “

Woman buying meat at the supermarket

Woman buying meat at the supermarket

But the pig farming industry is not alone in the face of problems. On Monday, the Food and Beverage Federation (FDF) warned that the entire sector was facing turmoil.

In a letter to Administrator of the U.S. George Eustice, FDF Chief Executive Officer Ian Wright said: Disruption of CO2 supply.

“There is a consensus across the industry that the situation is deteriorating with little prospect of additional CO2 supply unless the UK Government intervenes.”

When the minister is considering financial support to support the energy sector, Wright said: “.

Concerns are beginning to show food and drink shortages on supermarket shelves, and it is expected that the problem will worsen for Christmas without doing anything.

Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker told the BBC that his supermarket is increasing inventories, and while there are no imminent shortage issues, the CO2 situation needs to be categorized quickly. ..

“What shocked me was [CO2] Production is concentrated in two factories, both owned by foreign companies.

“This is clearly important for national security. Not only food, but also health care. Therefore, in terms of whether it is profitable and therefore whether they produce things, private sector companies. Being on the whim of is very confusing. No. “

The British Soft Drinks Association said that if manufacturers were unable to obtain a CO2 supply, they would “have to stop producing certain products after their reserves were exhausted.”

Gas price chat

Gas price chat

CF Industries CEO Tony Will has consulted with the government on production at the two fertilizer plants, but the results are unclear.

Kwasi Kwaten Business Secretary tweeted that he met Will, “discussing the pressures the business is facing and exploring possible ways to secure significant supplies, including the food and energy industries. “.

Wholesale gas prices rose 250% from January and 70% in August alone, seeking industry support and some small energy companies collapsed.

Boris Johnson, who is in New York for the UN General Assembly, said the wholesale price issue was “temporary.”

He adds that he is “very confident” in the UK supply chain, the power of the market should be “very, very quick” to solve the problem, but the government will support as much as possible. I added that it would be.

The government statement said: “We continue to monitor supply across critical sectors and are in regular contact with the industry on CO2 supply.

“The UK has benefited from having a variety of gas sources and is well capable of meeting demand. We do not anticipate a gas supply emergency this winter.”