Grocery Chain Pushed to Follow Costco’s Lead and Cut Ties With Coconut Milk Brand That Uses Monkey Labor
For Immediate Release:
August 31, 2021
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Baltimore – A special delivery and letter (in English and Korean) from PETA is on its way to Korean grocery chain Lotte Plaza Market’s CEO, Sung Lee: a bunch of fresh, humanely obtained coconuts. The delivery comes after Costco and other major retailers stopped selling Thai brand Chaokoh, which a PETA Asia investigation revealed uses coconuts picked by chained monkeys.
“Lotte Plaza Market is still selling coconut milk made from coconuts picked by monkeys in Thailand who are chained, separated from their peers, driven insane, and forced to work long hours,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on Lotte Plaza Market to stop being coconuts and say, ‘So long!’ to Chaokoh.”
In addition to Costco’s locations, more than 33,000 stores around the world—including chains Giant, Kroger, Target, and Safeway—have stopped selling Chaokoh coconut milk as a result of its connection to forced monkey labor.
PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way,” and the group opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. PETA has also sent coconuts and letters to executives of other holdout companies—including Publix and Walmart—asking them to reconsider their business relationship with Chaokoh.
PETA’s letter to Lee follows.
Dear Mr. Lee:
Greetings from PETA. We applaud Lotte Plaza Market for offering tasty vegan recipes on your website for your customers, and we now urge you to take action on an issue that they are concerned about. We’ve sent you these coconuts in the hope of finally cracking open a dialog about reconsidering your business relationship with Chaokoh, a brand implicated in a recent PETA Asia investigation into the use of chained monkeys in Thailand’s coconut industry.
PETA Asia’s investigation revealed that Chaokoh is part of an industry that’s forcing monkeys—confined for life, sometimes with their teeth removed, always chained, and often driven insane from being deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them—to climb trees in order to collect coconuts. It seems that most (if not all) of these animals are illegally captured from the forest as babies. Their training is extremely abusive.
Please visit PETA.org/Coconuts to watch the undercover footage.
More than 25,000 other stores, including Costco, have pledged not to purchase products from Chaokoh.
We hope you will act swiftly to remove cruelly sourced coconut products from your shelves. May we please hear from you soon?
Very truly yours,