Locally Based Company Drops Coconut Milk Tied to Monkey Labor After Pressure From PETA

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2022

Contact:
Robin Goist 202-483-7382

West Sacramento, Calif. – Following PETA outreach and two PETA Asia undercover investigations into the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, North American Food Distributing Co. (NAFDC) has stopped distributing coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh.

“Every can of coconut milk purchased from Chaokoh represents the misery of a chained-up monkey,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Any company still affiliated with this brand after PETA’s exposés of cruelty to monkeys in the coconut industry should reexamine its relationship now.”

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 hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.

NAFDC joins more than 33,000 stores—including the chains Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Wegmans, 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 retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including Walmart and 99 Ranch Market.

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, click here, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind