More than 100 Animal Rebellion supporters halted the supply of fresh milk to large parts of England in the early hours of Sunday, including Arla Aylesbury, which handles 10% of Britain’s supply.
It came after the activist group, which campaigns for a sustainable plant-based food system, received no response to a letter to Downing Street in August, in which they warned against disruptive action in September unless progress on their demands is made.
Members of Animal Rebellion stopped and climbed onto company trucks outside four facilities supplying milk to the Midlands and South of England. Others enter company premises, climb onto milk silos and site loading docks.
The four distribution centers, operated by Müller and Arla, together process approximately 2 billion liters of fresh milk per year.
The group said its supporters would continue to act directly until the UK government negotiates its two demands.
It calls on the government to help farmers and fishing communities move away from farming and fishing as part of an immediate transition to a plant-based food system.
He also wants the government to commit to reclaiming liberated lands and oceans as part of a broader program of wildlife restoration and carbon reduction.
John Appleton, who worked at Arla for six years and took part in the protest, said: “I have seen this industry first hand, I know the struggle that farmers and workers go through every day. We need a food system that works for them, for everyone else, and for nonhuman animals.
“Government support in this regard is vital to address climate and ecological emergencies. We know the twin solution: transition to a plant-based food system and a mass rewilding program.
Steve Bone, a photographer from Thorpe-le-Soken in Essex who also joined the action, said: ‘A plant-based future would restore the British countryside and all the wonderful nature lost to farming… A plant-based future would reduce carbon and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
A spokesperson for Müller UK and Ireland confirmed that the targeted sites were in Droitwich, Severnside and Bridgwater.
He said: ‘We are disappointed to be targeted by a small number of activists who do not represent the 96 per cent of adults in Britain who choose milk every week, and we will ensure supplies are maintained. .
“Dairy products are affordable and packed with nutrients that benefit our bodies. During a cost of living crisis, trying to prevent it from reaching families, including vulnerable members of society, is wrong.
An Arla spokesperson said: “We currently have protesters at our Aylesbury site and are working closely with local police to resolve the situation. The safety and security of our colleagues on site is our number one priority and production is currently proceeding as normal. »
The protest comes a day after Animal Rebellion activists gathered at a Whole Foods store in London and Marks & Spencer supermarkets in Southampton, Manchester and Birmingham, holding signs reading ‘Plant-based future’ and ‘Rewild our land” as they tried to stop buyers from buying milk.
Animal Rebellion, a sister movement to Extinction Rebellion, says it has hundreds of supporters ready to be arrested and go to jail for taking direct action.
So far this year, activists from the group have disrupted the Trooping of Colors ceremony during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, invaded the track during the Epsom Derby horse race and emptied bottles of milk on the floor in the food hall of Harrods department store in London. They also announced plans to block supermarkets and prevent millions from buying milk.
Müller and Arla have been contacted for comment.