As if last Christmas wasn’t bad enough.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant that Christmas 2020 was a much different, low key event than what most people usually enjoy, amid rapidly rising Coronavirus cases and deaths, forcing families and friends apart for the most wonderful time of the year.
Now, a year on, and it appears that even more bad news could be affecting the festive period.
This time, it could be Christmas dinners that are cancelled.
The UK is currently suffering from a quite drastic carbon dioxide shortage. With CO2 being vital to the UK’s food and beverage industry, it could mean that a lot of festive staples are unavailable this December.
Two large fertiliser plants, one in Teeside and another in Cheshire, have closed recently and both produced CO2, meaning there is now nowhere near as much carbon dioxide available for the food industry.
He said, “There are less than 100 days left until Christmas and Bernard Matthews and my other poultry businesses are working harder than ever before to try and recruit people to maintain food supplies.”
Boparan also brought up how he is worryingly low in staff and needs to find 1,000 extra employees to help with supplies.
“The CO2 issue is a massive body blow and puts us at breaking point, it really does – that’s poultry, beef, pork, as well as the wider food industry.
“Without CO2, the bottom line is there is less throughput and with our sector already compromised with lack of labour, this potentially tips us over the edge.
“When poultry cannot be processed it means they must be kept on farms where there are potential implications for animal welfare, so the overall effect is welfare compromised and greatly reduced supply.
“Ready meals lose that vital shelf life. There is potential for massive food waste across the board.
“I’d like to see CO2 supplies prioritised for the food sector so UK supply can be maintained and for the government to support these fertiliser plants who are saying they’ve switched off because of the rising price of natural gas.
“It’s tough enough having one hand tied behind our backs by simply not having enough people to supply food.
“With the CO2 on top of this, both hands are tied. Government need to act now or we’ll have another cancelled Christmas.”
Who fancies beans on toast for Christmas Dinner then?