The Cold Chain Federation has written to the UK Chancellor and newly appointed Cabinet Ministers in the Department for Business, Environment and Transport calling for urgent reassurances that the food, pharmaceutical and other cold chains will be treated as critical industries through this winter and beyond.
The Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme provides support to eligible organisations until 31st March 2023. The Cold Chain Federation is making its call to Ministers as Government reviews the provision of support beyond that date.
Cold Chain Federation Chief Executive Shane Brennan said: “With more and more cold chain businesses no longer being able to rely on forward-bought or hedged electricity, and massive increase in prices forecast well into 2023 and beyond, there are serious questions about the viability of some cold chain operations. We are urging Ministers to provide reassurance that whatever government support is in place beyond March next year, the critical businesses in food and pharmaceutical supply chains will remain supported.”
In its letters to the Chancellor and the new Cabinet Ministers the Cold Chain Federation has made a strong case for continuation of energy bill support to cold chain operations, citing the potential for unavoidable disruption to food and pharmaceutical supply chains and a significant risk of further food inflation for products like meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables. Crucially, unlike other sectors cold stores use significantly more energy in the summer rather than the winter to keep products cool, so the continuation of support beyond March 2023 will be vital.
The Cold Chain Energy Crisis Action Plan that the Cold Chain Federation published in September 2022 set out a range of actions that Government can take in the short, medium and long term to help cold chain businesses manage through the energy crisis.
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