Co-op Says No to Thai Coconut Milk After Monkey Abuse Exposé

London / Manchester – 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 for harvesting 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.

Photos from the investigation are available here, and video footage is available here. Broadcast-quality footage is available upon request.

PETA Asia’s third investigation into the coconut industry in Thailand 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, while 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.

“Co-op is living up to its cooperative namesake by taking this compassionate step to avoid cruelly obtained coconut milk, and we urge the Thai government to put an end to the exploitative practice of forcing captive monkeys to harvest coconuts,” says PETA Senior Corporate Projects Manager Dr Carys Bennett. “PETA is calling on all retailers – including Whole Foods – to 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.

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 or follow the group on Facebook, X, TikTok, or Instagram.


Lucy Watson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]