The current shortage of CO2 that the UK market experiencing is very much in the news, with media coverage highlighting the potential effect on food supply, particularly on poultry, meat and soft drinks categories. In order to review and to mitigate any impact on our customers, Juniper are conducting a full evaluation of the potential effect on our own supply chain, focusing predominantly on those categories. This will enable us to establish which products are potentially at risk, and to put in place actions that will mitigate the impact of any shortage, both on current and future availability, taking into account the seasonal uplift we expect as we draw closer to Christmas.
This evaluation is now underway with our core range suppliers to establish their own source and stocking holdings of CO2. Whilst our evaluation is ongoing, we are confident in our strong supplier relationships and the breadth of suitable recipes which we believe will enable us to mitigate any impact on supply to customers.
This is a fast moving situation caused by a significant increase in energy prices which has resulted in the halting of production at two fertiliser plants which account for over half of the UK’s CO2 production. Whilst the UK Business Secretary negotiates a resolution to this situation with the owners of the plants in question, the issue has been compounded by existing pressure on stock caused by the pandemic, the UK labour shortage of HGV drivers and operational staff, as well as challenges and delays in imports as a result of Brexit and the additional administration and paperwork that this entails.
As ever, we will endeavour to keep you fully updated on matters that may directly impact pupils in schools and provide further information as it becomes available. Please be assured of our continued commitment to ensuring the highest levels of service to you and your team in the present circumstances.