Protesters blockade 'only factory in the UK that produces burgers for McDonald's'

15 July 2021, 07:01 | Updated: 15 July 2021, 10:23

By Asher McShane

Climate and animal rights group Animal Rebellion have set up a blockade at what they say is the only UK factory that makes McDonald’s burgers, calling for the restaurant to switch to a plant-based menu.

Around 100 protesters blockaded the OSI Food Solutions factory in Scunthorpe overnight.

The group posted online: "We won't leave until McDonald's commits to go plant-based by 2025 to address the enormous impact they have on the climate, our planet and on animals. The time to act is now."

Protesters at the site this morning
Protesters at the site this morning. Picture: Animal Rebellion

According to an online brochure, OSI Food Solutions UK is "the exclusive supplier of red meat products to McDonald’s Restaurants in the UK."

A protester sits in a replica of a Happy Meal box at the site
A protester sits in a replica of a Happy Meal box at the site. Picture: LBC

Animal Rebellion protesters occupied Smithfield meat market in London in 2019.

Protesters set up tents and scaled two structures at the gates, setting off flares
Protesters set up tents and scaled two structures at the gates, setting off flares. Picture: Twitter

They say the factory produces 3m burgers for McDonald’s every day, and they have used trucks, tents and bamboo structures to prevent access and distribution for staff.

According to the factory's website, it supplies beef and pork patties to over 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants in the UK, and pork patties to 81 McDonald’s restaurants in the Republic of Ireland.

The protest comes on the same day a report was released calling for a 30 per cent national reduction in the consumption of meat.

Police at the scene of the factory in Scunthorpe today
Police at the scene of the factory in Scunthorpe today. Picture: Animal Rebellion

Police said in a statement: "Officers from Humberside Police are currently deployed at a food distribution centre on Luneburg Way in Scunthorpe following reports of a demonstration of around 50 people at the entrance to a food distribution centre.

"Officers are in attendance in order to allow people to go about their lawful business and to protect the right of individuals to take part and exercise their right to peaceful protest.

"The roads in and around the industrial estate remain unaffected as the demonstration is at the entrance to one premise.

"We are liaising with representatives from all sides to address concerns. 

"We are committed to fulfilling our duty to protect the human rights of all the groups and individuals with an interest in this situation."

This story is being updated