UK-based R&R Ice Cream has confirmed plans to close an ice cream plant in France.

The plant, based in Carcassonne in south-west France, makes ice cream under the Pilpa brand and employs 127 staff. 

The closure was announced at a meeting of the plant's works committee yesterday, which led to staff staging a stoppage.

"The reason for the closure of the Carcassonne plant is that it is now only operating at 31% capacity, which doesn't allow us to be competitive on production costs in what is an increasingly competitive market," R&R human resources director Peter Pickthall told just-food. "The Pilda brand will continue, with production transferred to our three other plants in France where some spare capacity exists." He added these plants were not under threat.

R&R acquired the Carcassone plant from France's Maison Boncolac in 2011. It has a production capacity of around 23m litres

Pickthall said no closure date would be announced before the consultative process with the works committee had completed.

Staff are to be offered jobs at R&R's other French plants and its facility in Poland.