Fizzy drinks at risk as food industry warns of ’10 days to fix’ gas crisis or shortages will hit the UK

FIZZY drinks are the latest item on supermarket shelves at risk of shortages because of the ongoing gas crisis.

The soft drinks industry body has warned that some companies making the beverages are running out of CO2.

Getty Images – GettyFizzy drinks could be hit by the CO2 shortage[/caption]

The gas makes drinks fizzy and is a by-product from making fertiliser.

But production at two of the biggest fertiliser plants in the country have come to a halt because of the soaring costs of natural gas.

Industry experts yesterday warned that supermarkets are two weeks away from running out of meat made in Britain.

CO2 is used to slaughter animals humanely and farmers are facing a backlog of nearly 100,000 pigs that they could be forced to slaughter themselves.

The gas is also used in packaging meat to extend its shelf life.

And there are fears of a draught beer shortage within weeks as the gas puts the fizz into our pints, at the same time that the price of a pint could go up by 25p.


Now, everyday fizzy drinks are under threat due to the shortage.

The British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) has warned that some drinks makers have just a few days supply of CO2 left.

The BSDA said: “As it stands, most CO2 suppliers are currently not scheduling beyond 24 hours in advance, meaning there is no visibility as to UK stocks and no certainty around deliveries.

“If soft drinks manufacturers cannot get hold of CO2 supplies after their reserves have run out, production of certain products will have to cease.”

The industry body is calling on the government to prioritise the supply of CO2 “on the grounds of maintaining product supply to consumers and protecting British jobs”.

It said: “We urge the Government to support the operation of UK fertiliser plants through to the end of the year to stop this issue from rearing its head at Christmas.”

AG Barr, the company behind fizzy drink faves like Irn Bru, Tizer and Rubicon said production was currently continuing as normal.

A spokesperson said: “We invested in additional Co2 storage in recent years, and have access to both UK and European sources through our supplier agreement. 

“We’re currently producing to normal schedules and we’re taking action to protect customer supply as much as possible.”

Food and drinks supplies are already stretched due to a perfect storm of Brexit, a lack of lorry drivers and the coronavirus pandemic.

Brits also face rising energy bills because of the soaring wholesale price of natural gas which has increased by 250% since January — and 70% since last month.

The rising costs has piled pressure on energy companies with several going bust in recent weeks – and more could follow.

Bulb, the UK’s sixth biggest energy firm, has already confirmed that it is scrambling to find new funding.

If your supplier folds, your energy won’t be cut off, so there’s no need to panic.

Customers are moved over to a new supplier automatically and anyone affected is urged NOT to switch suppliers until this takes place.

 

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