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Major international retailers banning monkey-picked coconuts – VIDEO

Jack Burton



Major international retailers banning monkey-picked coconuts – VIDEO | The Thaiger
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Allegations of animal abuse are prompting major Western retailers to pull Thai coconut products from their shelves, amid accusations that the coconuts are picked by monkeys treated inhumanely. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals claim monkeys are snatched from the wild and trained to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day. The animal rights group says pigtailed macaques are treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

PETA claims monkeys are used by farms supplying 2 of Thailand’s best known coconut milk brands: Aroy-D and Chaokoh, which are exported to many countries, including Europe and the US.

“Following PETA Asia’s investigation, more than 15,000 stores will no longer purchase these brands’ products, with the majority also no longer buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand monkey labour.”

The BBC reports that in the UK, major retailers Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots are pledging to stop selling some coconut products from Thailand.

“Our own-brand coconut milk and coconut water does not use monkey labour in its production and we don’t sell any of the branded products identified by Peta. We don’t tolerate these practices and would remove any product from sale that is known to have used monkey labour during its production.”

The Morrisons chain said it has already removed products made with monkey-picked coconuts from its shelves. Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second largest grocery chain, told the BBC…

“We are actively reviewing our ranges and investigating this complex issue with our suppliers.”

A PETA statement says it has found 8 farms in Thailand where monkeys are forced to pick coconuts for export around the world. Male monkeys are reportedly able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day; it’s thought that a human can pick about 80.

“Other coconut-growing regions, including Brazil, Colombia and Hawaii, harvest coconuts using humane methods such as tractor-mounted hydraulic elevators, willing human treeclimbers, rope or platform systems, ladders, or they simply plant dwarf coconut trees.”

The group says it’s also discovered “monkey schools,” where the animals are trained to pick fruit, as well as ride bikes or play basketball to entertain tourists.

“The animals at these facilities, many of whom are illegally captured as babies, displayed stereotypic behaviour indicative of extreme stress. Monkeys were chained to old tyres or confined to cages that were barely large enough for them to turn around in.”

“One monkey in a cage on a lorry (truck) bed was seen frantically shaking the cage bars in a futile attempt to escape, and a screaming monkey on a rope desperately tried to run away from a handler.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.



  1. Avatar


    July 4, 2020 at 5:08 pm


    To all the coconut farmers (of that’s the correct definition), just remember your had has a thumb and four fingers, and extending the longest middle one while making a fist signifies a firm statement. I would encourage all the coconut farmers to make a firm statement to any and all who feel the need to complain about monkeys picking coconuts. Next think you know you’ll be told to pay them a minimum wage and benefits if you remain quiet.

    • Avatar


      July 4, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      People should make a firm statement against this form of animal cruelty and abuse! Or did you skip that part that this is about Animal Cruelty! I don’t think you actually understood the meaning of this article, let alone the message it holds and the visible evidence which is clearly portrayed! You definitely got your priorities all twisted when it comes to animal abuse! You are standing on the wrong side of the fence! It seems to me you don’t give a damn about animal welfare regarding your comment, which clearly shows your total lack of empathy and disregarding the fear, anxiety, abuse and cruelty these animals are being subjected to! You consider yourself humane? You’re anything but humane! It’s called, Inhumane!

  2. Avatar


    July 4, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Next time, the Western retailers will not sell imported vegetables because vegetables don’t drink enough water during cultivation.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 4, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    These monkeys need a Trade Union.
    Yes well, first elephant torture is exposed, now it is monkeys.
    And I hear Cambodians are enslaved on Thai fishing boats.
    We begin to see the reality behind the smiling Thai.

    • Avatar


      July 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      It’s not the first elephant torture that was exposed! These atrocities go way back longer! Do your research!

  4. Avatar


    July 5, 2020 at 9:35 am

    The monkeys get paid
    and who else is going to pick to coconuts you white travellers will have to climb it yourself to get a refreshing coconut drink on your wonderful holiday.
    And why is this the problem now its been happening for many years why now… so the people complaining you feel guilty.
    lets turn back time….how many white travellers took photos with tigers how many travellers ride elephants how many clapped while a Thai person put there head into a crocodiles mouths.You were entertained.
    And you know how much these monkeys and the people that train them to pick coconuts make….
    have you not seen the news of monkeys overrunning a small town there overpopulated.
    what are pigs used for…what are cows used for what chickens used for …….really inhumane
    maybe if you stop those animals from being killed then you can stop the monkeys

  5. Avatar


    July 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    My comment lost

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