SuperValu drops Thai coconut brand after monkey-abuse exposé
Following PETA Asia's investigations, more than 30,000 stores will no longer purchase coconut products sourced from monkey labour in Thailand
1 June 2021 | 0
SuperValu has dropped the coconut milk brand Chaokoh from shelves after it was implicated in PETA Asia’s undercover investigations into the use of monkeys in Thailand’s coconut industry.
PETA Asia’s two investigations into the Thai coconut industry revealed that monkeys are forced to work on farms that export products around the world for the brand Chaokoh. The animals at these facilities – many of whom were illegally captured as babies – displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress.
According to PETA’s investigations, monkeys were chained to old tyres or confined to cages that were barely large enough for them to turn around in. One monkey in a cage on a truck bed was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope desperately tried to run away from a handler. An investigator learned that if monkeys try to defend themselves, their canine teeth may be pulled out.
“These curious, highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom, and everything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to gather coconuts,” says PETA senior corporate liaison Dr Carys Bennett. “PETA is grateful to SuperValu for taking action to rid its shelves of this unethical brand and is calling on Chaokoh to stop supporting this cruel industry by obtaining its coconuts from companies that don’t use monkeys.”
In the UK, Morrisons has suspended its supply of Chaokoh products pending investigation. Sainsbury’s, Tesco, and Asda have removed Chaokoh products from their shelves. And Ocado, Waitrose, and Co-op have committed to never knowingly selling any products sourced from monkey labour. Walgreens Boots Alliance (operator of Boots) has pledged not to stock Chaokoh items and not to knowingly sell any own-brand coconut food or drink products of Thai origin in its stores in Thailand, the UK, and the US.
International companies including Albertsons, Costco, Wegmans, Target, Super King Markets, and Bed Bath & Beyond’s Cost Plus World Market in the US have also stopped buying coconut products from Chaokoh. Ahold Delhaize and its brands, including Giant Food, Food Lion, Stop & Shop, and Hannaford in the US as well as Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, have also pledged to cease knowingly stocking and selling any products from suppliers that use monkey labour.
Following the investigation, more than 30,000 stores will no longer purchase coconut products sourced from monkey labour in Thailand.