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CO2 is missing, bubbles are in crisis

Red alert from Italian industry entrepreneurs

The latest entrepreneur to sound the alarm was Alberto Bertone, owner of Fonti di Vinadio, which produces Sant'Anna water. "I have raised the alarm of a lack of CO2 not only in Italy but throughout Europe - Bertone explains to Ansa -. For us it means that we cannot make 30% of the production of sparkling water: today 30% of our lines are completely stopped. Before we only thought about a month, now we don't see the light ". 

"CO2 is missing because energy costs have risen so much that it is no longer convenient to produce it, producers do not sell below cost - adds the manager -. Before it cost about 2 thousand euros per ton, today 20 thousand. At these prices we too would go below cost. and there should be a rise in sparkling water on the market ". 

It is now clear that on the raw materials market carbon dioxide for food use is starting to run low, even just looking at the shelves of large-scale distribution or the home deliveries of carbonated water. So much so that Confindustria's Assobibe also reports growing difficulties in finding CO2. 

Coca-Cola HBC, which has the largest factory in Europe in Nogara (Verona), focuses on self-production. "In the Veronese plant we self-produce the carbon dioxide we need - explains Giangiacomo Pierini, corporate Affairs & sustainability director of Coca-Cola HBC Italia -. This allows us to experience difficulties without problems. In the other plants of the group in Italy, on the other hand, we need to buy the raw material. We have stocks, so we are able to operate despite the difficult and expensive availability on the market". 

Fonte Margherita bottles only in glass and cardboard: it produces 30 million bottles a year, mainly intended for home delivery in the Northeast, horeca in Italy, and a smaller share in the large-scale distribution with a dedicated brand. Exports are 15%. "There are complexities along the supply chain, the supplies of bubbles have been limited in the last two months - adds Denis Moro, CEO of Fonte Margherita 1845, the Vicenza water with three bottling plants on the slopes of the Small Dolomites: Torrebelvicino and Valli del Pasubio -. We have continued to serve all our customers, for a period we have slightly reduced the quantity that was intended for each one, sharing the problems with them. Now we manage our deliveries with precision and we hope the situation will recover".

In Friuli Venezia Giulia we find Goccia di Carnia, which flows at 1,370 meters above sea level and is bottled in Forni Avoltri (Udine), in the Pierabech area. The plant is divided into three production lines and produces over 140 million pieces per year. The group also owns the Acqua Pejo company, from the Trentino springs of the same name, which flows into the Stelvio National Park: the plant is divided into two lines, with a production capacity of 120 million pieces per year.

"Sparkling water is starting to run low on the shelves, we are facing a critical period and we do not understand when it will end - emphasizes Samuele Pontisso, managing director of the Goccia di Carnia group -. We had some problems, in particular with Pejo, when we found ourselves with the company. production stopped for 2-3 days. The supply in this period is quite intermittent. With Goccia di Carnia, on the other hand, no problem".

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EFA News - European Food Agency