Protesters blockade dairy factory to demand plant-based production

Fifty climate activists have created a blockade at the UK’s largest milk factory, locking themselves on to bamboo structures and concrete barricades.

The activists, from Animal Rebellion, are calling on dairy company Arla to transition to plant-based production by 2025 and claim they will not leave the firm’s site in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, until it agrees to do so.

Animal Rebellion claims Arla emitted more greenhouse gases in 2017 than BHP, a mining company, and ConocoPhillips, an oil producer.

The blockade of the Arla milk factory in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
The blockade of the Arla milk factory in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire (Animal Rebellion/PA)

James Ozden, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, said “The dairy industry abuses animals, the planet and workers, who are increasingly squeezed by big business.

“Arla say they’re pro-worker but lobby for supermarket contracts that sell milk for less than water.

“We’re not just demanding that Arla go plant-based by 2025, we’re demanding that the Government supports companies like Arla by funding a just transition for workers in meat and dairy industries to just and sustainable alternatives.”

The group said a climate crisis could lead to unstable crop supplies to feed dairy cows and also potentially expose them to heat stress for two months longer than usual, which could lead to a milk shortage.