Costco drops coconut milk brand over forced monkey labor allegations

David Matthews, New York Daily News

Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals confirmed Wednesday that Coscto had joined the ranks of retailers to drop a coconut milk brand over allegations it used forced monkey labor, according to USA Today.

Costco’s ban covers coconut products from a number of Thai companies. Walgreens, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop had previously stopped stocking similar products, including Chaokoh.

“No kind shopper wants monkeys to be chained up and treated like coconut-picking machines,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “Costco made the right call to reject animal exploitation, and PETA is calling on holdouts like Kroger to follow suit.”

In a letter to the organization, Costco’s vice president and general merchandise manager of corporate food and sundries Ken Kimble said the company moved quickly to investigate and change its policies after learning about the issue.

“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,” Kimble wrote. “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.”

According to a PETA investigation, coconut industries in Brazil, Colombia, and Hawaii have not used monkey labor.


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