'Crumpet crisis' predicted as carbon dioxide shortage hits production at Warburton's plants

Daniel Fowler
July 1, 2018

One of the UK's biggest bread makers says it has ended production at two out of four of its plants because they have run out of CO2, which they use to package the product.

The company said it relied on Carbon dioxide to put inside its packaging in order to keep the crumpets fresh, because it helps reduce the moisture from deteriorating the quality of the product.

Tearmh Taylor, corporate and consumer affairs manager at Warburtons, said in a statement today: "As a result of the ongoing Carbon dioxide shortage, we are producing no where near the 1.5m packs of crumpets we usually make each week and have had to suspend production at a number of our bakeries".

Warburton's has said that supplies are likely to return to normal next week.

Producer Warbutons said it is working "really hard" to keep products on shelves, but admitted it is making "nowhere near" its usual amount of the British staple.

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"If a similar issue were to affect the water industry. then you feel government would be acting with far greater urgency", the Food and Drink Federation said.

The British Retail Consortium said: "We are aware of specific pressures in some areas such as carbonated soft drinks, beer, British chicken and British pork but the majority of food products are unaffected and retailers do not anticipate food shortages".

Wetherspoon said yesterday that some pubs were temporarily without draught John Smith's and Strongbow cider, while Punch Taverns, which has around 1,300 pubs, said it had shortfalls of John Smith's, Amstel and Birra Moretti. He said that while food and drink would not run out, "choice will be eroded". "We are now working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers".

The company also halted production at its plant in London.

"We use Carbon dioxide in the packaging to create a protective atmosphere for our products - they're quite vulnerable due to the moisture levels so we need to make sure they are protected to keep them fresher for longer".

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