Extinction Rebellion protesters have gathered outside Avara in Hereford and Allensmore to demand the industry makes changes.

 

They were protesting what they say is Avara’s role in a supply chain causing environmental disasters both in the Wye Valley and in the Amazon rainforest.

Protesters march through Hereford.  Picture:  Rick GoldsmithProtesters outside Tesco Bewell Street in Hereford. Picture: Rick Goldsmith

The day of demonstrations started with a protest at the feed mill in Allensmore.

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Protesters lay on the ground and one tied themselves to a bamboo type structure to prevent lorries from entering the mill, just off the B4348 in the village just outside Hereford.

Benjamin Bude, one of the protesters lying on the ground, said: "We were clear from the beginning that we would stop at 12pm. We put ourselves at risk.

"We have spoken to the manager of the site and hope that the disruption has lead to wider coverage of the issue."

 

Meanwhile, over a hundred protesters congregated at Avara Foods in Hereford on Red Barn Drive before marching towards High Town.

Protesters march through Hereford.  Picture:  Rick GoldsmithProtesters on Newmarket Street. Picture: Rick Goldsmith

 

They marched through Grandstand Road and Newtown Road, before heading south down Edgar Street through the Old Market Shopping Centre and Tesco supermarket in Bewell Street before finishing in High Town.

Protesters march through Hereford.  Picture:  Rick GoldsmithProtest arrives in High Town. Picture: Rick Goldsmith

Extinction Rebellion Marches group member Nick Sherwood said: "The cheque is very much in the post as far as the Wye is concerned an it's not a nice one but we can still make a difference and that is what we are trying to do today."

 

Protesters march through Hereford.  Picture:  Rick GoldsmithThe protest leaves Avara Foods in Red Barn Drive. Picture: Rick Goldsmith

 

Vey Straker lives close to the Wye in Herefordshire with her family.

She said: "There's a huge emotional pull for me. The river Wye is the jewel in the county's crown but it is rapidly deteriorating and disappearing."

Both Avara Foods and Tesco have spoken out after the protests.

An Avara spokesperson said: "Whether it’s the Wye, sourcing soy or any other aspect of our environmental footprint, we’re committed to reducing our impact on the world and are already taking action."

Meanwhile a Tesco spokesperson said: "Protecting and maintaining water quality and biodiversity in our supply chains is an important priority within our supplier partnerships, and we’re committed to playing our part in ensuring the protection of the river Wye, alongside other actors across the food industry.