Energy giant Total wants to import up to 300,000 tons a year of palm oil, which environmental advocates say has caused massive deforestation chiefly in southeast Asia.
Total's decision to import palm oil for biofuel refinery was only "the last straw", she added. But the refinery protests illustrate a souring relationship between farmers in the EU's biggest agricultural producer and the government of President Emmanuel Macron.
According to Deutsche Welle, they are also anxious about emerging competition, as local biofuel producers might want to go over to a cheaper palm oil from overseas instead of buying locally produced and more expensive rapeseed oil.
The farmers' protests began late Sunday and have been called for three days because "dialogue has broken down" with the government, Greffon said.
Total, which operates four of France's seven refineries, said the blockade was, however, hampering the distribution of products by road from four refineries and six depots.
The mostly symbolic blockade at La Mede was lifted around midday with farmers returning to work, according to a Reuters photographer on site. "It concerns South American meat and Spanish wine as well as palm oil", said Damien Greffon, who leads the FRSEA farmers' union in the Paris region.
Fuel shortages were not expected as a result of the blockade, given France's network of emergency fuel reserves and in the absence of sympathy action by fuel sector workers.
Palm oil is cheaper than rapeseed oil as a feedstock for biodiesel.
Total argues that its refining plan involves less palm oil than allowed by the authorities, offers an outlet for local rapeseed and will develop large-scale recycling of used oil and fat. French farmers say its growing use has added to their competitive disadvantage because of high taxes and strict environmental regulations in France.
Small farmers in Malaysia, the world's second largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, said a move to cap palm oil exports at an European Union level would be discriminatory and a "betrayal".