According to the animal rights group, PETA investigators from the Asian division discovered cruelty against monkeys at farms and facilities used by Theppadungporn Coconut Co.
“When not forced to pick coconuts or perform in circus shows for tourists, animals are tied, chained to old tires or locked in cages that are only larger than their bodies,” a statement said. PETA said. “A coconut farmer insists that when the monkeys get scared and try to defend themselves, the handlers can get their teeth removed.”
Chaokoh, one of the world’s leading producers of coconut milk and other coconut products, and Theppadungporn Coconut Co., did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
“Following the recent news of the use of ‘monkey labor’ in Thailand’s coconut industry, Chaokoh, one of the world leaders in coconut milk production, assures that we do not use it. Monkey behavior in our coconut plantations, “the company said in a statement, noting that their suppliers signed memoranda of understanding that there were no monkey labor on their farms. .
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement: “No good shopper wants monkeys to be chained and treated like coconut picking machines.” “Costco has complied with its calls for refusal to exploit animals.”
Representatives for Costco said they could not officially comment on this issue to CNN.
“We have stopped purchasing from the supplier / brand owner Chaokoh,” Kimble wrote in the September 29 letter. “We have made it clear to the supplier that we are not in favor of using monkeys. to harvest and all harvesting must be done by human labor ”.
In the letter, he also said, “We will continue to monitor the implementation of the harvest policy and once satisfied will continue to purchase.”
The letter also stated that “a third party auditor has been hired by Chaokoh to independently verify the implementation of these harvest policies” and the letter concludes that Costco will continue to purchase the goods upon collection. Planning is done by humans.
In a statement to CNN, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, said it was in talks with the manufacturer about the allegations.
“Walmart is committed to sourcing and we hope that our suppliers will not tolerate animal abuse of any kind,” a Walmart spokesperson told CNN. . “We will continue to engage with this provider in terms of our expectations, the severity of these allegations, and the provider will take corrective action if necessary.”