Meat processors in government talks over gas shortage
Meat processors are in talks with the government over a shortage of carbon dioxide that could hit meat production.
The gas is used to stun pigs and chickens prior to slaughtering, and also in the packaging process.
The carbon dioxide used by the meat industry is a by-product of fertiliser production, but fertiliser factories have been halting production due to soaring natural gas prices.
The government said it was monitoring the situation "closely".
Fertiliser producers have been struggling with natural gas prices that are at record highs as economies around the world begin to recover from the Covid crisis.
In the UK, lower winds have meant less renewable energy is generated, there have been outages at some nuclear stations, and there have lower flows into the UK of natural gas from Norway, pushing up the price of natural gas.
This week, two large UK fertiliser factories owned by US firm CF Industries Holdings suspended operations due to soaring gas prices, and on Friday Norwegian firm Yara said it would also cut production at a number of its European plants.