Thai coconut milk industry battles PETA’s monkey abuse claims

Photo Courtesy of Stuart Croy (Flickr)

Thai coconut milk producers are calling on the government to swiftly hire a lobbyist to counteract allegations made by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) regarding the treatment of monkeys by local farmers. PETA recently reiterated its claims on Twitter, stating that monkeys are kidnapped as babies and later forced to pick coconuts in the Thai coconut industry.

An insider from the Thai food industry expressed concern over the damage to the reputation of Thai coconut milk since PETA’s campaign began in July 2020. The campaign was repeated in November and has recently resurfaced on social media. As a result, Thai coconut milk has been removed from the shelves of numerous department stores and supermarkets in major countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.

The source revealed that the Thai coconut milk industry has suffered significant losses, with the country losing some of its 80% global market shares. Despite efforts by the government, ambassadors, and manufacturers to deny the use of monkeys in coconut harvesting, sales of Thai products continue to struggle, reported Bangkok Post.

Attempts to highlight the use of machines for coconut collection and the introduction of the “Monkey Free Plus” certification have not been successful in recovering the lost profits within the industry, according to the source.

Related news

In a noteworthy recent announcement, HelloFresh, the leading meal-kit provider in the US, has decided to cease purchasing coconuts from Thailand.

Banning all coconut milk exports from the country, this decision comes in response to PETA’s allegations of forced monkey labour practices in the Thai coconut milk industry, showcasing HelloFresh’s commitment to ethical sourcing.

In addition to targeting HelloFresh, PETA also urges other manufacturers and retailers to cease buying coconut milk from Thailand, emphasizing concerns over the persistent allegations of monkey labour exploitation within the Thai coconut milk industry. Read more HERE.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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