Arla Foods faces new pressure to fully transition to plant-based dairy by 2025

UK – Danish multinational dairy giant Arla is under new pressure to abandon animal dairy for plant-based alternatives as part of wider, well-orchestrated efforts by animal activists to rid the world of unsustainable agriculture. 

To express their displeasure over the company’s continued dairy operations, a number of activists blockaded Arla’s key milk factory in England demanding Arla to fully plant-based by 2025. 

Around 50 activists from Animal Rebellion, a sister group to Extinction Rebellion, stood in protest blocking the gates to the Arla’s distribution center near Aylesbury, UK, erecting bamboo structures and concrete barricades to prevent trucks from entering the facility. 

Arla in a statement said that it managed to complete the morning shift changeover. “However, access to the site for our larger vehicles is being blocked. We are working to manage the impact of this,” An Arla spokesperson said. 

As momentum across the plant-based movement continues to gather pace, Arla which churning out an annual turnover of about €10 billion (US$11.8 billion) continues to find itself in an awkward position. 

“Arla is one of the biggest producers of dairy in the world meaning that they have a responsibility to the public and their workers to transition to a plant-based system now before it is too late,” an Animal Rebellion spokesperson tells FoodIngredientsFirst. 

“As extreme weather events increase, the dairy industry will simply become unviable in the very near future as crop shortages and intolerable heat mean that raising the cows needed to fuel the demand for milk will become impossible. We can replace dairy products with an abundance of plant-based alternatives,” they stress. 

Arla however maintains that it is 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,” Arla said in a statement.  

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

Animal activists, on their part, believe 2050 is too far and are doubling down on their efforts to impress upon major companies and the government need to defund meat and dairy and fund a just transition to sustainable plant-based milk

On the same day as the Arla factory protests, pro-vegan demonstrations took place outside nearly 1,000 town and city halls to champion the newly spearheaded global Plant-Based Treaty. 

The Plant-Based Treaty movement took place in Manchester, Bristol, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Rome, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto, Seoul, Mumbai, and Ankara. 

The campaign, according to the activists, aims to work toward 10 million individuals, 10,000 organizations, 10,000 businesses and 50 cities to endorse the treaty by 2023, ahead of the Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement (GST). 

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