Target will no longer sell coconut milk made by the Thai company Chaokoh after an investigation alleged the drink is tied to forced monkey labor, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Monday.
“By dropping Chaokoh, Target is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from chained monkeys’ misery,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman wrote in a statement.
“PETA exposés have confirmed that Thai coconut producers are exploiting monkeys and lying about it, so there’s no excuse for any grocery store to keep Chaokoh on its shelves.”
PETA, which has been tracking monkey exploitation in Thailand since 2019, conducted two undercover investigations that found primates are forced to pick coconuts all day with chains around their necks. The group’s probe found “cruelty to monkeys on every farm, at every monkey-training facility, and in every coconut-picking contest that used monkey labor.”
“When not being forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus-style shows for tourists, the animals were kept tethered, chained to old tires, or confined to cages barely larger than their bodies,” PETA wrote in a news release.
Following PETA’s investigations, the coconut industry claimed they changed their practice and were no longer using monkey labor but a second probe found it was still happening.
“PETA Asia’s second investigation found producers still using monkey labor and industry insiders discussing how farms conceal this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during harvest time,” PETA said.
Target told The Post they decided to pull the products in November last year.
“We believe in the humane treatment of animals and expect those who do business with us to do the same,” a spokesperson wrote in a statement.
“We take seriously the claims made against Chaokoh, and given they were unable to sufficiently address the concerns raised, we made the decision to remove their product from our assortment.”
PETA has been lobbying major grocery chains to stop selling Chaokoh and so far, more than 26,000 stores, including Wegmans, Costco, Food Lion, Stop & Shop and now Target, have agreed to cut ties with the brand.
Meanwhile, Kroger, Albertsons and Publix are continuing the practice but say they are examining their purchase policy.
Credit: The New York Post