Target discontinues Chaokoh coconut milk for allegations of monkey labor

Marco Green
January 27, 2021

Target is the latest major retailer to pull Chaokoh coconut milk after accusations that its manufacturer uses monkey labor.

Target joins Costco, which dropped the milk in October.

Target has reportedly stopped selling Chaokoh brand coconut milk after an investigation by PETA into how the coconuts are obtained. Investigators on behalf of animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia visited four "monkey schools", eight farms, and one coconut-picking competition in Thailand to discover that chained monkeys-who were likely illegally captured from the wild as babies-were forced to climb trees and pick coconuts for worldwide distribution.

A working monkey rides on the back of a pickup truck while heading to a coconut plantation in Chumphon province, in southern Thailand. After a global outcry, the coconut industry claimed to have changed this practice-but PETA Asia's second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms hide this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time.

"By dropping Chaokoh, Target is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from chained monkeys' misery", PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in the release.

According to PETA, Kroger, Albertsons and Publix still stock Chaokoh brand coconut milk products.

Publix told CNN Business that it has reviewed third-party audits of the company and that Thailand's ambassador to the United States confirmed that monkeys are "not used in the commercial harvesting of coconuts".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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