Potato chips manufacturer McCain Foods has allegedly threatened legal action should potato growers in Ballarat, Australia, refuse to supply this season, reported local press.

Growers purportedly said they are unwilling to accept the AUD$237.25 (US$186.5) a tonne McCain is offering, due to the drought and high production costs they face, reported Tasmanian Country.

The newspaper reported that Ballarat McCain grower group representative David Myers said that a McCain representative told him the company was considering legal action should the growers refuse to honour "verbal contracts".

McCain Foods Australia was unavailable for comment as just-food published this story today (22 December).