Within days, supermarkets and restaurants across the UK will be affected by the shortage of gas, which plays a vital role in the refrigeration and delivery of frozen foods and meat. 

British online supermarket Ocado has delayed delivery of frozen products to customers as a result of the carbon dioxide shortages, while the British Poultry Council (BPC) has warned that the industry is heading towards a “downward spiral towards supply chains seriously struggling”. In Teesside and Cheshire, the sudden rise in global gas prices has already resulted in two large fertiliser plants, which produce CO2 as a by-product, having to shut.

On Saturday, the UK business secretary met with industry leaders to discuss the shortages and insisted there was no cause for immediate concern. However, food industry bosses have warned that the shortages amount to a “national security issue” that urgently requires attention. 

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said the issue “underscores the importance of our plan to build a strong, home-grown renewable energy sector to further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels”.

We are aware of the issues faced by some businesses and are working closely with industry to provide support and advice,” a spokesperson for DEFRA added.