A factory in France which makes a quarter of the world’s supply of Nutella has been brought to a standstill by workers’ strikes.
The Villers-Ecalles plant, run by confectionery giant Ferrero, normally sends out 600,000 jars per day of the hazelnut and chocolate spread.
But strikes over workers’ pay has meant ingredients are running low, with no deliveries entering the plant for a week.
The strikers are calling for a 4.5 per cent pay rise, as well as a 900 euro (£800) bonus, but so far they have only been offered a 0.4 per cent increase.
Fabrice Canchel of the Force Ouvriere (FO) union, said 160 workers have been on strike since March 27.
He added that ‘no lorry has gone in or out of the site’ since that date, causing supplies of raw materials to significantly dwindle and only one Nutella production line to work at 20 per cent capacity.
Production of Kinder Bueno, another Ferrero product, had also ceased for almost a week, he continued.
Ferrero, which also creates Ferrero Rocher and Kinder Surprise, said the strikers were a minority among the 400 workers in the factory.
In a statement, the company said their priority was to protect staff not participating in the demonstration.
They also accused the FO of rejecting their attempts at negotiation.
Nutella production has faced challenges in recent years, in part due to its use of palm oil.
The ingredient’s harvest contributes to deforestation and climate change
But Ferrero have overall seen their sales double over the last decade through a series of ambitious acquisitions.
The company, founded as a family business in 1946, is now the third-largest company in the global chocolate confectionery market.
In April, it announced the purchase of the the biscuit and snack businesses of the American Kellogg Company for $1.3 billion (around £1.02 billion).