Co-op Drops Thai Coconut Milk After Monkey Abuse Exposé

Posted by on April 2, 2024 | Permalink

Great news! Co-op agreed not to source coconut milk from Thailand after learning about PETA Asia’s undercover investigation into the use of monkeys in the country’s coconut industry.

Co-op’s own-brand coconut milk is now sourced from Sri Lanka, where monkey labour is not used to harvest coconuts. PETA has asked the company to extend this policy to include branded Thai coconut milk products and urges everyone to avoid buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand due to the rampant abuse involved in their production.

Co-op’s coconut milk sourced from Sri Lanka is now going into 2,400 UK stores, replacing the product which was linked to monkey labour.

Monkey Abuse in the Thai Coconut Industry

PETA Asia’s third investigation implicates coconut pickers, brokers, farms, and monkey-training operations in nine provinces, including top-producing ones.

One trainer was caught on camera dangling a screaming monkey by the neck and striking him with a tether. A monkey used for breeding was kept chained alone in the sun, without access to water, and other young monkeys languished in cramped cages.

Coconut pickers said that the monkeys sometimes incur broken bones from falling out of – or being yanked down from – trees, and a worker confirmed that most monkeys are kidnapped from their families in nature, even though the species exploited by the coconut trade are threatened or endangered.

Retailers Must Be Cooperative

Co-op is living up to its name by taking this compassionate step to avoid cruelly obtained coconut milk. While we urge the Thai government to help end the exploitative practice of forcing captive monkeys to harvest coconuts, retailers – including Whole Foods – must stop selling any Thai coconut milk products until monkeys are no longer used and abused for profit.

PETA Asia’s latest investigation found that the use of monkey labour is pervasive throughout the coconut-farming industry in Thailand. It linked forced monkey labour to Suree, a brand which used to produce canned coconut milk for Co-op. Other implicated brands include Chaokoh, Ampol Food Processing (whose parent company is Theppadungporn Coconut Co), Cocoburi, Tropicana Oil, Thai Pure Coconut Co, Ampawa, Edward & Sons Trading Co, and Aroy-D.

Help Stop the Exploitative Thai Coconut Industry

There’s no way to guarantee that coconut milk from Thailand didn’t come from forced monkey labour. Always check the label on coconut milk products, and if it reads “Product of Thailand”, leave the item on the shelf.

Co-op has joined other brands – such as HelloFresh – in moving away from the Thai coconut industry. Please urge Whole Foods to be next: