The new website www.co2-plattform.de creates a contact opportunity for suppliers of carbonic acid on the one hand and for companies on the other hand that urgently need carbonic acid for production or bottling. The free online platform is to be open to all producing companies from the beverage industry, regardless of association memberships and manufactured products.
Developments in European fertiliser production, which has been significantly curtailed due to increased energy prices, continue to be worrying. Due to high energy costs, numerous plants have been shut down, which, in addition to a shortage of fertiliser, leads to a shortage of carbonic acid or carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a by-product of ammonia production and is urgently needed in the food industry for production and packaging processes. Major CO2 suppliers to the food industry have already claimed "force majeure". Only 30 to 40 per cent of the usual supply quantities are currently still available on the market, estimates the umbrella organisation BVE (German Federation of the Food Industry).
Many medium-sized breweries and bottlers of non-alcoholic beverages, as well as mineral springs and fruit juice producers, are currently no longer being supplied with carbon dioxide at all and are therefore having to severely restrict or completely stop their production. In a joint appeal for help, the affected sectors have already appealed to the German government and the EU Commission to take urgent short-term measures to eliminate the cause of the bottleneck - the skyrocketing energy prices - and thus the massive impact on food production.
"With the new online platform, we want to create a contact option for the industry in the short term and enable help for self-help in the current crisis," says Holger Eichele, General Manager of the German Brewers Association (DBB) in Berlin. In the current shortage situation, more and more companies from the brewing industry and other sectors of the beverage industry are urgently looking for available carbon dioxide, while other companies have surpluses from their own production or unused quantities in stock.
On the initiative of the DBB and in cooperation with the Bavarian Brewers' Association, the new portal for affected producers was established within a few days. The website is deliberately designed to be data-saving and functions like a "noticeboard". The DBB had all functions legally examined before they were activated, especially with regard to cartel and competition law, and also involved the Federal Cartel Office as supervisory authority from the beginning.