Sainsbury’s Makes It a Royal Flush! All Major UK Supermarkets Drop Thai Coconut Brands After Monkey-Abuse Exposé

For Immediate Release:

8 July 2020


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]

Sainsbury’s Makes It a Royal Flush! All Major UK Supermarkets Drop Thai Coconut Brands After Monkey-Abuse Exposé

Sainsbury’s Joins Waitrose, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, and Others in Taking Action After PETA Asia Investigation Reveals Suffering Monkeys Forced to Pick Coconuts

London – Sainsbury’s, the last major UK retailer to stock Chaokoh coconut products, has dropped the brand after it was implicated in PETA Asia’s first-ever undercover investigation into the use of monkeys in Thailand’s coconut industry.

PETA Asia’s investigators visited eight farms where monkeys are forced to pick coconuts for export around the world – as well as four “monkey schools” and a coconut-picking competition. The animals at these facilities – many of whom were illegally captured as babies – displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress. 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 British supermarkets for taking swift action to rid their shelves of these unethical products, and we urge the Thai government to take meaningful steps towards ending the vile practice of using monkeys to harvest coconuts.”

In the UK, Morrisons has suspended its supply of Chaokoh 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 Aroy-D or Chaokoh and not to knowingly sell any own-brand coconut food and drink products of Thai origin in its stores in Thailand, the UK, and the US. International companies including Bed Bath & Beyond’s Cost Plus World Market have 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 17,000 stores will no longer purchase coconut products sourced from monkey labour in Thailand.

PETA and its international affiliates oppose speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit