French co-operative Terrena has confirmed it will not be able to provide financial support to its loss-making poultry unit, Doux, indefinitely.

In September, Doux unveiled a four-year EUR100m transformation programme to modernise production plants, part of a strategy to take its products upmarket and generate profitability.

However, details were sketchy on where the funding would come from, Doux making reference to forging partnerships with industrial groups and financial investors but stopping short of precise details on potential partners. The programme has yet to be finalized.

“Doux’s losses of EUR35m-EUR36m annually are not sustainable,” Terrena underlined. “Our support is not everlasting.”

Responding to reports Terrena has set a deadline of 31 March beyond which it will no longer provide financial aid to Doux the company told just-food: “There’s always a timeframe but it’s not set in stone.”

The co-operative, meanwhile, declined to comment on rumours of a possible tie-up between Doux Ukranian poultry group MHP.

“Partnerships are being discussed and different avenues explored,” Terrena said.

Weighing on Doux’s future is the possibility of having to pay back more than EUR80m to the French authorities for the non-respect of EU regulations governing public subsidies. A court judgement of the case, which dates back to 2010, is expected next month.