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Union calls on government to intervene in CO2 supply chain crisis

22 June 2018 by
Union calls on government to intervene in CO2 supply chain crisis

GMB trade union has called on the UK government to intervene in the CO2 supply chain crisis and protect the food and drink industry.

The union has said the shortage, which it says is "causing havoc" for the sector, is "the latest example" of why the UK needs an industrial strategy to protect its interests post-Brexit.

It said the infrastructure is there but requires government support for the UK to supply its own gases. CO2 is a major component for the drinks industry in supplying soft and alcoholic beverages.

Stuart Fegan, GMB national officer, said: "We have the skills and the infrastructure in the UK to supply our own gases. It's an industry that employs thousands of people in the UK, but it needs government help to support the infrastructure required.

"The UK needs a proper industrial strategy for the post-Brexit world, or we will be continue to be at the mercy of supply chain shortages coming from the continent in future."

A spokesperson for Mitchells & Butlers said the group is not currently expecting any supply issues and its pubs are "well stocked ready for the football this weekend".

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said none of its pubs have yet been affected and the group is monitoring the situation closely with suppliers.

He added: "We have been informed by Heineken of their issues with CO2 and that is likely to affect the supply and availability of certain beers and ciders."

A spokesperson for Fuller, Smith & Turner, said: "While we still have CO2 in the brewery and assurances from our supplier that our supply will be continued, we are monitoring the situation carefully and taking nothing for granted. We are continuing to brew as normal at the moment.

"We are also working with our external drinks suppliers to monitor the situation in our pubs with regards to third party products that may be out of stock."

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