For Immediate Release:
April 4, 2022
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382
Salt Lake City – Following two PETA Asia undercover investigations that revealed the use of chained and caged monkeys in Thailand’s coconut-picking industry, locally based grocery wholesaler Associated Food Stores has ended the sale of coconut milk from major producer Chaokoh. The decision follows more than 80,000 e-mails to the company from PETA supporters as well as a delivery of humanely picked coconuts to its CEO.
“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 company with a conscience can keep supporting Chaokoh, and Associated Food Stores should be commended for taking action to help monkeys.”
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 that producers were still using monkey labor and that industry insiders were 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.
Associated Food Stores joins more than 35,000 stores—including those owned by chains Albertsons, Publix, 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 other retailers that still do business with Chaokoh, including 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.