More than 50 activists descended on the production plant, with 30 members of the group locked on to bamboo structures and concrete barricades.
Protestors have stated they plan to continue blockading the factory until Arla makes a commitment to end dairy production and fund a ‘just transition’ for its workers.
According to Animal Rebellion, the factory provides 10% of the milk supply for the UK, with 150 vehicles delivering raw milk each day and 1.1bn litres being produced every year.
James Ozden, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, said: “The recent IPCC report issued a code red warning on the impacts of the climate crisis. It spoke of a need for urgent action from our government to address carbon emissions, including methane which is in large part a by-product of animal farming.
“Companies like Arla claim to be leading the way in tackling the climate crisis, yet until these big multinationals start to talk seriously about the inevitable need to transition our food system to one that is plant-based, their words are empty.”
Ozden accused the dairy industry of abusing animals, the planet and workers – workers that have been increasingly squeezed by big business.
“Arla say they’re pro-worker but lobby for supermarket contracts that sell milk for less than water,” he said.
Pressure on Government
“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.”
Thames Valley Police has deployed ‘protest removal teams’ to the Arla site, with officers remaining at the scene to manage the protest and public safety.
Animal Rebellion’s blockade of the Arla plant comes two months after it held a similar demonstration outside of OSI Food Solutions’ site in Scunthorpe, reportedly the supplier of McDonalds’ burgers in the UK.
About 100 members of the group set up a blockade around the site using tents, bamboo structures and a roof occupation in the early hours of 15 July in a bid to stop the plant from distributing burgers.