// Iceland boss warns of UK food supply shortage
// Food supplies could start affecting stocks if carbon dioxide shortages continue
// Concerns have been raised about how CO2 shortages might harm Christmas food supplies
Iceland has reportedly warned that UK food supplies will be under threat long before Christmas and could start affecting stocks if carbon dioxide shortages continue.
The frozen food retailer’s managing director, Richard Walker said that while concerns have been raised about how CO2 shortages might harm Christmas food supplies, the problem – which has been compounded by the shortage of HGV drivers – could affect supermarkets much sooner.
“This is no longer about whether or not Christmas will be okay, it’s about keeping the wheels turning and the lights on so we can actually get to Christmas,” Walker told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“This could become a problem over the coming days and weeks, so this is this is not an issue that’s months away,” he said.
The shortage has been sparked by record energy prices, which forced two US-owned fertiliser plants in the north of England that produce 60 per cent of the UK’s carbon dioxide (CO2) supplies to shut down last week.
CO2 is widely used in fizzy drinks and beer as well as in the meat industry to stun animals before slaughter. It is also used to create dry ice, which keeps food fresh for storage and transport.
Walker said Iceland was building up its stocks on key items such as frozen meat, “just to make sure we can deal with any unforeseen issues”.
“At the moment, we’re fully stocked because suppliers are OK but we do need this sorted as quickly as possible.”