Production could be stopped at the Herbignac Cheese Ingredients (HCI) plant tomorrow (March 19) if dairy farmers protesting price levels continue to block waste treatment activities at the site.

The plant has been the target of action over the past week with farmers claiming that HCL has gone back on an agreement on milk prices agreed for the first quarter of the year.

"During this action, the production of mozzarella has gone ahead as normal but the fact we are increasingly unable to treat the waste water generated at the plant means we are now confronted with environmental concerns," an HCI spokesman told just-food.  

"If farmers don't call off their action, we'll have no alternative but to close the plant on Thursday and around 1,000 milk producers in western France will be affected."  

The mozzarella plant opened last year and has annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes.