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The problem is that the United Kingdom is experiencing a shortage of carbon dioxide to carbonate the beverages, leaving brewers in the lurch. A spokesperson for Ei said it was working with suppliers to minimise disruption to publicans and sourcing alternatives, according to the BBC.

"Tulip uses Carbon dioxide for a number of purposes within the supply chain; to stun pigs during the slaughter process, which is the most humane method available, and it is mixed with nitrogen for use in packaging to help preserve products".

British poultry processors have already warned that dwindling Carbon dioxide supplies could force them to slow or stop production, since more than half of them use the gas to stun birds before slaughter.

The CO2 supply squeeze comes as Britain has basked in unseasonably warm weather since late April. It said on Wednesday it was working around the clock to get beers to customers as quickly as possible.

The CO2 shortage is also said to be affecting deliveries of frozen food, which are kept cool by dry ice which is created by compressing CO2.

However, Booker's move to ration sales followed Scotland's largest pig processing plant suspending its slaughtering process and Coca-Cola temporarily pausing some production lines.

CO2 producers in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe have scaled back operations for maintenance, causing a shortage of the gas, whose many uses include improving the shelf life of packaged food and creating dry ice to keep products cool during transport. "We're pretty dismayed. The top priority is animal welfare - we will not have ourselves in a situation where the welfare is suffering", he said.

"We are extremely concerned, as is the rest of the industry, that very little, if any information is coming out of the gas sector about when this will be rectified", Tulip said, as quoted by FT.

According to The Drinks Business, the Carbon dioxide shortage is occurring because of "the "usual" turnaround of maintenance procedures in ammonia plants".

The company said it was "fully mobilized to try to meet our food and industrial customers' needs in the context of a temporary shortage beyond our control".

But with at least five gas producers in Northern Europe beginning a planned shutdown for maintenance, it's feared that fizzy beer could face a shortage. On the whole we are managing to maintain our supply chain albeit it remains very fluid.

Last week, leaders of the UK's food and drinks industry warned the crisis was so serious it could harm production and asked the government to prepare to prioritise supplies.


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