CO2 shortage still affecting European food and drink supply chain
Disruptions to supplies of food-grade CO2 in Europe are causing shortages of carbonated drinks, meat and crumpets, and could threaten animal welfare. Gasworld explains that several European CO2 plants have prolonged their periods of maintenance downtime due to low CO2 prices (read more here).
The BBC explains that CO2 is used to stun animals before slaughter, add the fizz to carbonated drinks and extend the shelf life of many food products including meat and vegetables (read more here). Some abattoirs are worried that the shortage could cause overcrowding of animals as their operations slow, with negative impacts on animal welfare (read more here).
The Atlantic points out that CO2 supply is linked to fertiliser production, since CO2 is a by-product of ammonia production (read more here).
Food Manufacture claims that although some CO2 plants are now back online, food businesses may be impacted for several weeks to come (read more here). The Telegraph warns that shortages could recur due to a lack of investment (read more here).
See also the Foodsource resource What is animal welfare?
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.
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