French authorities have joined staff in the fight to save R&R Ice Cream's plant in Carcassonne, in south-west France.

UK-based R&R announced the closure in July. A small number of the 127 staff are to be offered jobs at R&R's other French plants and its facility in Poland.

R&R told just-food last month the Carcassonne plant is no longer competitive on production costs.

However, following meetings with the plant's management and staff earlier this week, the local representative of the French state said authorities would do all they can to maintain activity at the plant and, failing that, find a buyer.

"While the prefect's comments were welcome, he did not specify how the state will support us," a member of the plant works council told just-food today (10 August). "We want something concrete to take hope in."

He claimed that R&R Ice Cream would have closed the plant on 25 August if the works council had not contested the closure. "We commissioned a consultancy to
carry out an audit on the plant, which showed the plant was profitable."

No one was immediately available to comment at R&R Ice Cream on the prefect's involvement and the actions of the works council.