A cabinet minister has acknowledged that subsidizing a US-owned fertilizer firm that provides carbon dioxide to British businesses could cost taxpayers “tens of millions” of pounds.
The agreement will be in place for three weeks and the trade secretary, Quasi Quarteng, insisted last night that it would prevent “disruption” in critical industries that rely on steady supplies of CO2 – adversely affected by spiraling energy costs.
It comes after CF Fertilizers, which produces around 60 per cent of the CO2 in the UK, suspended operations last week due to the global cost of the gas, raising the alarm that consumers may need some food items within a few days. There may be a shortage.
to speak on sky NewsThe environment secretary, George Eustice, said lawyers were still working out the “final details” of the deal made last night, but added: “It will be in the many millions, possibly in the millions, but it’s going to be something to reduce.” for those fixed costs”.
“It’s going to be temporary,” he said. “At the end of the day we need the market to adjust.”
He also suggested that the food industry would meet a significant increase in the price of carbon dioxide, “from perhaps 200 pounds a tonne to eventually going closer to 1,000 pounds a tonne, so a big, sharp increase”.
in a separate interview with lbc radio, Mr Eustice also attempted to insist the deal on Co2 supplies would ensure “Christmas is safe” – despite the deal lasting just three weeks.
“Christmas is definitely safe,” said the cabinet minister. “But there are challenges in the food supply chain, I am not denying that. Lack of availability, pressure on logistics – all these are creating some tension.
“This means that some supermarkets in some regions have a slightly lower degree of choice in general. But we are working with the industry to make sure that we get shelf space for those all-important weeks leading up to Christmas. But got all the necessary food.
Welcoming the agreement, Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Beverage Association, warned that consumers could see shortages on supermarket shelves within days.
“I think it’s a temporary solution, but it’s a welcome one,” he said. “And that means there won’t be many noticeable shortages on the shelves, although there are already some due to staff shortages.”
Mr Wright, who said the industry “needs to work together”, also warned that although food would continue to enter warehouses in the lead-up to Christmas, “the supply chain is so fragile that no other setback could do it.” As is well”.
Announcing the deal last night, Mr Quarteng said: “This agreement will ensure many critical industries that rely on steady supplies of CO2 have the resources they need to survive disruption.
“The prompt and decisive action we have taken to address this issue reflects the seriousness with which we have been approached. In our ongoing response to manage the impact of rising global gas prices, we will continue to protect businesses and consumers.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /