Costco Will No Longer Sell Coconut Milk Made With Forced Monkey Labour
Following efforts by animal rights group PETA, Costco is reportedly no longer selling coconut milk made with forced monkey labour.
PETA has accused a handful of coconut milk brands for its mistreatment of monkeys, claiming the animals are chained, abused and exploited following investigations that began last year.
According to Kent Stein, PETA’s corporate responsibility officer, chained monkeys can pick around 400 coconuts a day and are often put in cages afterwards.
Costco will be following the likes of Walgreens, Food Lion and Stop & Shop in no longer selling coconut milk brands that PETA alleges to have used monkey labour.
PETA presented USA TODAY with a letter from Ken Kimble, Costco’s vice president and general merchandise manager of corporate food and sundries, informing the animal activist group that the store would no longer be selling Chaokoh.
The letter dated October 29 read:
We have ceased purchasing from our supplier/owner of the brand Chaokoh. We will continue to monitor the implementation of the harvest policies and once satisfied will resume purchasing.
We have made it clear to the supplier that we do not support the use of monkeys for harvesting and that all harvesting must be done by human labor. In turn, our supplier has contractually required the same of all its suppliers. In addition, our supplier is in the process of visiting every one of its supplier farms to communicate the harvest policies.
Costco is yet to confirm this, however.
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Following the allegations, Chaokoh has denied its involvement in any monkey labour. The maker of the milk, Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd, claims to have undergone a third-party audit where 64 of its 817 farms that were randomly selected were found to have no evidence of monkey labour, reported USA TODAY.
The company said in a statement, ‘Following the recent news about the use of ‘monkey labour’ in Thailand’s coconut industry, Chaokoh, one of the world’s leaders in coconut milk production, reassures that we do not engage the use of monkey labour in our coconut plantations’.
While Costco is supposedly boycotting the sale of Chaokoh, Kroger – the US’s largest grocery chain – has continued to have it on its shelves.
However, following the recent allegations, Kroger has reportedly ‘re-engaged’ with its supplier to ensure it is abiding by animal welfare standards.
In a statement to USA TODAY, the store said, ‘Kroger has a longstanding commitment to responsible business practices, including the humane treatment of animals. We have re-engaged our suppliers, as well as other stakeholders, on this issue to re-confirm they are also protecting animal welfare.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the RSPCA’s 24 hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice.
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