That Cold Chain Federation has written to the UK Chancellor and newly appointed Cabinet Ministers at the Department for Business, Environment and Transport asking for urgent reassurances that the food, pharmaceutical and other cold chains will be treated as critical industries this winter and beyond.
The government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme offers support to eligible organizations until March 31, 2023. The Cold Chain Federation is making its call to ministers as the government looks at providing support beyond that date.
Shane Brennan, Chief Executive of the Cold Chain Federation, said: “As more cold chain companies become unable to rely on pre-purchased or backed-up power, and massive price increases are forecast well into 2023 and beyond, serious questions are being raised about the viability of some cold chain operations. We urge ministers to reassure critical businesses in the food and pharmaceutical supply chains that they will continue to be supported, regardless of government support that lasts beyond March next year.”
In its letters to the Chancellor and incoming Cabinet ministers, the Cold Chain Federation has strongly advocated the continuation of energy bill support for cold chain operations, noting the potential for inevitable disruptions to food and drug supply chains and a significant risk of further food inflation for products such as meat, Dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Crucially, cold storage, unlike other sectors, uses significantly more energy in the summer than in the winter to chill products, so continued support beyond March 2023 will be critical.
The Cold Chain Energy Crisis Action Plan, published by the Cold Chain Federation in September 2022, sets out a series of actions that the government can take in the short, medium and long term to help cold chain companies deal with the energy crisis.