Albertsons Drops Coconut Milk Tied to Monkey Labor After PETA Push

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2021

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Boise, Idaho – Following a PETA campaign and two PETA Asia undercover investigations into the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, Boise-based Albertsons and its subsidiary Safeway have ended their sale of coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh.

PETA’s campaign included video footage sent to the company, e-mails from tens of thousands of the group’s members and supporters, a delivery of humanely picked coconuts to the company’s president and four executives, and “monkey” mascots who dumped hundreds of such coconuts outside the company’s headquarters. Photos are available here.

“A life as a chained-up coconut-picking machine is no life at all for a monkey, who needs to play, eat, and explore with family members,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Since PETA exposés have confirmed cover-ups of cruelty on coconut farms, no grocery store with a conscience can keep Chaokoh on its shelves, and Albertsons should be commended for taking action.”

PETA Asia’s first investigation found cruelty to monkeys on every farm, at every monkey-training facility, and in every coconut-picking contest that used monkey labor. When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies. After a global outcry, the coconut industry claimed to have changed this practice—but PETA Asia’s second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms conceal this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.

Albertsons is now among more than 30,000 stores—including chains Wegmans, Costco, Target, Food Lion, and Stop & Shop—that have cut ties with coconut milk brands that use coconuts picked by monkeys. PETA is now turning its attention to other retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including Walmart and Publix.

Photos from the most recent investigation are available here, and broadcast-quality footage is available upon request. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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