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CO2 shortage - latest update

26th Jun 2018 / By Alistair Driver

We have an update for members on the situation regarding the CO2 shortages.

Click here to read in the members' area. 

Scotland's biggest pig processing plant, at Brechin, is set to run out of CO2 today due the EU-wide shortage of the gas, which is used as part of the pre-slaughter stunning process.

Quality Pork Limited, which, in collaboration with Tulip and the Scottish Pork Producers (SPP), puts about 6,000 pigs a week through the Brechin abattoir, is considering sending some animals to Tulip plants in England, a contingency deployed last year following a fire in England. However, these plants are also facing CO2 shortages.

SPP chief executive Andy McGowan said: "We can send some pigs to England, to our sister factories at Tulip. But that is not a long-term solution. They, too, are seeing CO2 shortages."

Mr McGowan said he had little idea when CO2 shipments would resume. "One of the challenges is that we are not getting any sort of commitment from the gas companies. It makes planning difficult,” he said.

The NPA has been monitoring the situation closely and is in regular contact with the Government and other affected parties to share information and discuss possible solutions. 

National Pig Association chief executive Zoe Davies said the issue was different for every plant, with some having alternative methods in place, although throughput is likely to affected.

“We advise producers speak to their marketing group or processor if concerned. We are not aware of any major disruption at other plants yet, but clearly this situation may change should the gas supply situation not be resolved. It would be sensible for all producers to think about what they would do should supply be disrupted.”

Other sectors, notably beer and soft drinks, have also been affected. But representatives from the farming and meat sectors have issued requests for the meat industry to be given priority.