Target will no longer sell coconut milk produced by the Thai company Chaokoh, after an investigation claims that the drink is related to forced monkey labor, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals announced on Monday.
“With the elimination of Chaokoh Target, it is joining thousands of stores that refuse to profit from the misery of chained monkeys,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman wrote in a statement.
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“PETA’s findings have confirmed that Thai coconut growers exploit monkeys and lie about it, so there is no excuse for any grocery store to keep Chaokoh on its shelves.”
PETA, which has been tracking monkey exploitation in Thailand since 2019, has conducted two covert investigations that primates are forced to pick coconuts all day with chains around their necks. The group’s study found “monkey cruelty on every farm, in every monkey training facility and in every monkey labor competition using monkey labor.”
When they were not forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus performances for tourists, the animals were kept tied up, chained to old tires or locked in cages barely larger than their bodies, “PETA wrote in a news release.
Following PETA investigations, the coconut industry claims to have changed their practices and no longer uses monkey labor, but a second probe found that this was still happening.
“PETA Asia’s second investigation found that producers still use monkey labor and industry insiders to discuss how farms cover up this practice by simply hiding monkeys until auditors leave, or by hiring contractors to bring in monkeys only during of harvest, “PETA said.
Target told The Post that they decided to withdraw the products in November last year.
“We believe in animal welfare and expect those who do business with us to do the same,” a spokesman said in a statement.
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“We take the claims against Chaokoh seriously, and as they have not been able to adequately address the concerns expressed, we have decided to remove their product from our range.
PETA is lobbying for major food 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 sever ties with the brand.
Meanwhile, Kroger, Albertsons and Publix continue the practice.