French poultry giant Groupe Doux has urged retailers to act “responsibly” in the face of rising grain costs after talks with two grocers to increase prices stalled.

Doux, which claims the cost of poultry feed has jumped 30% as grain prices rise, said France’s retailers had not increased their prices since January.

The poultry processor said talks with two retailers had hit an impasse and warned of “dramatic” consequences for farmers and for jobs if an agreement is not reached.

Doux managing director Guy Odri said yesterday (14 October): “The situation is untenable for the industry if we do not reach an agreement with all the French distributors. It is now urgent that everyone, throughout the chain, adopt a responsible attitude.”

If retailers do not raise their prices, Doux has warned it will have “no alternative” but to pay farmers less and to cut jobs at some production sites as the company redirects volumes to export markets.

Doux said neither of these options was “desirable” but said retailers needed to up their prices by 15% “in line with increases seen in the global market”.