Cumbrian MP calls for urgent intervention to ensure food security after closure of fertiliser plant

CF fertilisers in Teesside
CF Fertilisers is to move operations to its Teesside plant. Credit: PA

A Cumbrian MP is calling for urgent intervention from government to protect food security, following the announcement a carbon dioxide and fertiliser production plant in Cheshire is to close.

CF Fertilisers plans to shut down the site in Ince as part of a restructure and will focus its operations on its plant in Billingham, Teesside.

MP for Penrith and the Border, Neil Hudson has written to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice, urging him to act on behalf of Cumbrian industries that rely on carbon dioxide - including in the production of food and drink, and in its use in abattoirs.

He highlighted the rising fertiliser costs and supply issues faced by farmers in Cumbria and the UK and called for intervention to prevent the issue worsening.

Dr Hudson said: “Amid what is already a difficult time for Cumbrian and UK industries, given the existing threats to food security from the war in Ukraine and labour shortages in our food production sectors, this announcement is of extreme concern.

"In the wake of this announced closure of one of the UK’s fertiliser and carbon dioxide production plants, our farmers and food and drinks sectors are going to need urgent support from the Government to ensure sufficient carbon dioxide and fertiliser supply.

"I will not stop banging the drum for Cumbrian and UK industries, in my role as MP for a huge farming area and as a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, to secure the intervention they need.” 

The issue is set to be discussed at the next Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee meeting.