The head of French poultry group, Tilly-Sabco, has warned of a “jobs massacre” as a result of the the European Commission’s decision to end subsidies to support exports outside the EU.

Tilly-Sabco took judicial action to have the decision overturned but it was recently upheld by a Commission tribunal.

Alluding to what he says as a battle for survival for his firm and that of French counterpart Doux, the chairman and CEO of Tilly-Sabco, Daniel Sauvaget, said: “Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, is entirely responsible for the fate of 4,000 jobs in France’s poultry exports sector.

“Only he can evaluate the reality of the situation and define with the French authorities the conditions by which the sector, and the employment it provides, can be saved. Re-establishing restitiutions is the only way to avoid a jobs massacre.”

Since the subsidies have been axed, market prices have fallen by more than 30%, leaving the door open to Brazilian producers to capture business held by French firms, he added.