Tony's Fresh Market Is One of Only a Few Still Selling Coconut Milk Brand That Uses Forced Monkey Labor
For Immediate Release:
September 21, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Chicago – A special delivery from PETA is on its way to Tony’s Fresh Market Owner and President Tony Ingraffia: a bunch of fresh, humanely obtained coconuts to remind him that selling products obtained through forced monkey labor is coco-nuts.
Even though monkeys in Thailand are chained in barren environments, separated from their peers, driven insane, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts for coconut milk sold by Chaokoh, Tony’s Fresh Market is one of the few holdouts still selling the brand. More than 25,000 stores around the world—including chains Walgreens, Giant, and Food Lion—have pledged not to sell coconut products obtained through monkey labor after PETA shared with them the cruelty uncovered in its exposé of this practice in the Thai coconut industry.
“Coconuts are sweet, but the ways in which monkeys in Thailand are deprived and exploited to pick them are anything but,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Smart, sensitive primates don’t deserve to be subjected to bitter lives of forced labor.”
The group has also sent coconuts and letters to executives of other holdout companies—including Costco, Kroger, Publix, and Woodman’s Markets—to ask them to reconsider their business relationship with Chaokoh.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA’s letter to Ingraffia follows.
September 21, 2020
Owner and President
Tony’s Fresh Market
Dear Mr. Ingraffia,
Greetings from PETA. We applaud you for offering tasty vegan meats, cheeses, and other products for your compassionate customers, and now we urge you to take action on an issue they are concerned about. We’ve sent you these coconuts in the hope of cracking open a dialog about reconsidering your business relationship with Chaokoh, a brand sold by your company and implicated in a recent PETA Asia exposé of Thailand’s coconut industry.
This investigation revealed that Chaokoh is complicit in an industry that’s forcing monkeys—confined for life, sometimes with their teeth removed, always on chains, and often driven insane from being deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them—to collect coconuts. It seems that most (if not all) of the monkeys used in the coconut industry are illegally captured in their natural habitat as babies. Then, they endure abusive training.
The monkeys are isolated from their peers as they spend their lives chained, transported in cages, and forced to climb trees in order to collect coconuts. The captive animals display stereotypic types of behavior, such as circling endlessly. Similar abuse was found at all 13 randomly selected locations.
Monkeys are exploited for coconuts used for Chaokoh coconut milk, sold by your chain. In contrast, more than 25,000 other stores have pledged not to purchase products from any company that depends on forced monkey labor.
We’d love to work together to get cruelly sourced coconut products off your shelves. May we please hear from you?
Ingrid E. Newkirk