Climate change protesters blockade Arla dairy factory

Dozens of climate activists have blockaded a milk processing and distribution centre owned by Arla.

About 50 members of pressure group Animal Rebellion descended on Arla’s Aston Clinton centre, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire during the early hours of Tuesday 31 August.

The site is the UK’s largest dairy factory, handling about 1bn litres of milk a year, with 150 vehicle deliveries of raw milk each day.

See also: Deadline extended for Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot applications

Activists blocked vehicle movements in and out of the site by erecting bamboo scaffolding and placing concrete blocks in front of gates, then chaining themselves to the structures.

Banners and a van bearing slogans calling for plant-based food to replace livestock production systems were also displayed.

A spokesman for Animal Rebellion called on Arla to transition to plant-based production by 2025. The spokesman, James Ozden, said the government needed to take urgent action to address carbon emissions, including methane which was a by-product of animal farming.

“We’re demanding that the government supports companies like Arla by funding a transition for workers in meat and dairy industries to just and sustainable alternatives,” Mr Ozden said.

Arla’s response

A spokeswoman for Arla confirmed that the action had taken place, adding that the group had succeeded in preventing larger vehicles from entering and leaving the site.

“We have managed to complete our morning shift change-over and all colleagues are safe. However, access to the site for our larger vehicles is blocked,” she said.

“We are working with the police to limit the impact of this demonstration to both our customers and those living locally to the site.”

The spokeswoman added that the farmer-owned co-operative was committed to producing dairy for the UK in the most sustainable way possible.

“We already make raw milk with around half the average emissions of dairy globally and intend to be carbon net zero by 2050.”

See more