CO2 shortage: How the CO2 crisis could affect Christmas turkey supplies

The rise in gas prices has resulted in the closure of two major fertiliser plants, meaning a shortage of CO2 is hitting supply chains.

Turkeys. (Pic credit:

CO2 gas is used to stun poultry such as turkey before they are slaughtered for a more dignified death.

Carbon dioxide is a by-product of fertiliser production. A shortage of CO2, due to the closure of Teesside and Cheshire fertiliser plants, will have a knock-on effect on food supplies where meat and poultry are concerned.

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Therefore, if the CO2 shortage is not rectified soon, it could lead to a shortage of Christmas turkey on supermarket shelves this year.

There are fewer than 100 days until Christmas and supply chains are already facing a dilemma regarding labour shortages.

According to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), food products that reply on CO2 could run out in just two weeks.

Turkeys are sent into a CO2 chamber and are exposed to 70 to 90 per cent of the gas, knocking them out.

They are then slaughtered while unconscious.

CO2 is also vital for extending the shelf life of products and is important for cooling systems and refrigeration purposes.

This method is considered the most ‘humane’ by the government.