The Source Perrier works council has called on French President Nicolas Sarkozy to intervene to prevent any move by Nestlé to transfer production of the sparkling mineral water away from Vergèze in Provence.

The appeal follows company plans to remove 'Source Perrier' from road signs near the Vergèze plant, replacing it with Nestlé Waters Supply Sud. The council fears this is part of Nestlé's hidden agenda to downgrade Vergèze's status as the sole Perrier site ahead of relocating production elsewhere.

However, Nestlé Waters France has played down any ulterior motives over the issue claiming it asked the local highways authority how much it would cost to change the road signs in order to make it easier for foreign truck drivers to find the plant given that the name in their order books is Nestlé Waters Supply Sud.