Cold Chain Federation publishes action plan amid huge cost rises for temperature-controlled storage and distribution businesses
The Cold Chain Federation has called on the Government to help curb further food inflation by implementing an energy price cap for businesses in the food industry.
The proposed food business price cap is one of a suite of measures advocated in the new Cold Chain Energy Access Crisis Action Plan, published today (8 September) by the industry body.
The Action Plan comes as temperature-controlled storage and distribution businesses are hit by multiple huge cost increases and fear worse is to come.
In addition to advocating the immediate extension of any price cap or other market intervention to all businesses in the food supply chain, the action plan includes longer-term measures to support an acceleration in the food industry’s transition to sustainable, resilient and green power.
The Cold Chain Federation is the voice of the temperature-controlled storage and distribution industry, and its Cold Chain Live! conference on 8 and 9 September 2022 is bringing together cold chain industry leaders with parliamentarians and academics to discuss the future of the industry as it navigates a period of exceptional change.
Cold Chain Federation president Tim Moran said: “The cold chain is being buffeted on all sides by the inflation crisis. Keeping food cold is energy-intensive in its very nature, and the cost of electricity for cold storage has at least doubled already and is going higher.
“Add the cost of diesel, wages and equipment and across both the storage and the distribution of fresh and frozen food, our industry is experiencing increases far beyond what we can absorb. We are a very resilient industry, but we are very concerned about the coming months.
“It has been short-sighted of Government to think only about the direct cost of energy to domestic consumers. An energy price cap for food industry businesses is essential to tackling food price inflation.
“Looking to food chain resilience in the medium and longer term, we are urging Government to work with us to accelerate the transition to a new kind of electricity network where businesses like cold stores are not just users of powers, but generators and stores of energy as part of a more resilient, greener infrastructure.”
The measures detailed in the Cold Chain Energy Access Crisis Action Plan include:
- Extending any price cap or other market intervention to all businesses in the food supply chain.
- Ensuring food supply chain is a priority industry for supply in the event of hopefully unlikely shortages this winter.
- Fast-tracking planning applications for mid-scale renewables, especially wind, and subsidising connection costs.
- Increasing access to renewable energy generation and storage installation grants and loans.
- Extending energy efficiency incentives for energy intensive businesses through the Climate Change Agreement scheme.
- Transitioning to demand response and fully incentivising intensive industries that can play a role in grid balancing.