Connect with us


US grocers cut ties with Thai coconut milk company after PETA reveals monkey labour

Caitlin Ashworth




Grocery stores throughout the United States are cutting ties with the Thai coconut milk company Chaokoh and other Thailand coconut product suppliers following an investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) into the monkey labour at Thailand coconut farms. PETA Asia claims the Thai macaques are “snatched from the wild” and treated like “coconut picking machines.”

Recently, the US grocery chains Costco, Wegmans, Walgreens, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop have stopped selling coconut products from Thai suppliers that use monkeys to gather coconuts.

Other western retailers are also boycotting Thai coconut products derived from monkey labour in response to the PETA investigation. In the United Kingdom, the chains Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots announced earlier this year that they would stop selling some coconut products from Thailand that use monkey labour.

PETA says the social animals are “chained and driven insane.” A video of the alleged abuse shows monkeys in small cages, one shaking the cage to try to get out.

Many kind people choose coconut milk instead of cow’s milk because they don’t want to support cruelty to animals. But a disturbing PETA Asia investigation reveals that terrified young monkeys in Thailand are kept chained, abusively trained, and forced to climb trees to pick coconuts that are used to make coconut milk, meat, flour, oil, and other products.

In Thailand, it’s fairly common for those in rural areas to own a monkey to pick coconuts at local farms and sell the coconuts in the area. How the monkey is treated depends on the owner. The monkeys on a long leash run up a palm tree and drop the fresh coconuts to the ground for the owner to collect. Some monkeys get angry while others are relaxed and ride with their owner on a motorbike to and from a farm.

There’s even training schools for the monkeys, teaching the animals how to pick out a fresh coconut as well as how to get out of a knot just in case their leash gets tangled up in the palm tree. One monkey training school in Southern Thailand is well known by locals and many students go on school field trips to see how the monkeys are trained.


Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates



  1. Avatar

    Ted Dunn

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    I have read that that monkeys are not used by commercial growers. It is only a tourist attraction.
    Maybe the author could show proof of the monkeys being used by commercial interestes and sho proof of the abuse.
    I love animals and hate abuse but also do not like artciles like this that do not show ample proof.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      You’ve read correctly. I lived in an area full of commercial coconut plantations for about ten years, and also sold the coconuts on my land, and there were no monkeys – just long bamboo poles. Not nearly as much of an attraction for tourists, but far simpler and quicker.

  2. Avatar

    Pieter Wilhelm

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    These are the same supermarkets who sell pork from pigs who were castrated without any anesthesia. These supermarkets are often located in countries where torture in the name of religion is allowed such as slicing the throat of animals until they bleed slowly to dead during religious rituals. Double standards or Hypocrits? You decide yourself.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:19 pm

      Alas the age of empires is history, and civilised parts of the world can’t administer the barbarous parts of the world, unless they’re willing roll back many decades of legal and cultural changes to enlist public support, and fund their militaries to bring back plunder from distant shores.
      As with any bitter medicine, close your eyes when you take it, and perhaps add some sugar to distract you from the less appetising taste.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Well PETA is the largest animal rights organisation in the world. They should be trusted, or they would lose credibility and funding.
    I believe them.
    I accept that some monkeys are not badly treated, however some are, and if the Thai accept this they can all suffer from lose of sales to the West. This will get their attention.
    It is up to the Thais to stop the torture of monkeys.
    If western supermarkets ban this brand of coconut milk, they should also ban all coconut milk from Thailand otherwise the Thais will just sell monkey gathered coconut milk to the Thai brands that do not use monkeys.
    These brands will then sell to the West.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:21 pm

      You think Philippines coconut products are more cautiously harvested? Where would you go to find your tropical non-European delicacies procured by European standards? It’s not a criticism, but you need more than a trade agreement, you need boots on the ground to administer regulations abroad.

    • Avatar


      Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 9:24 am

      Trust PETA?

  4. Avatar


    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I’d buy coconuts from well treated monkey’s, that don’t go nuts.
    Organic CoCo Monkeys – 100% natural, non vegan – but happy.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Ah but imagine the anguish of the monkey who picks a coconut and then is not allowed to eat the coconut?
    That would be enough to make any monkey go nuts.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      You could always give the monkey’s pizza, then they would be too fat to climb up the tree.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Well, I guess that now that all those monkeys are out of a job, they might as well be culled as they are a drain on society. Nice job PETA.

  7. Avatar


    Friday, November 13, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Go tell this to any human who works 8 or more hours a day in some factory. If that isn’t slavery, what is? Or how about something the likes of begging? Where do you draw the line? How many millions + are born into this realm where their lives are a misery?
    Not going to mention the 25,000 people who died daily from malnutrition….(check WHO numbers online).

  8. Avatar


    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 12:25 am

    A Thai friend I know owns 12 rye of land planted with coconuts, I think there are hundreds of thousands of such small growers all over Thailand. It is just an extra income for them.

    Monkeys pick the coconuts and as far as I could tell while watching, the monkeys are adored by their owners and are treated well, the monkeys see it as more of a game.

    Of course, if large corporations are using the monkeys in a bad way then they should be prosecuted.

    What next, ban buffalo, police dogs and horses as they are not able to sign an employee’s contract.

    I wonder if this organization has the same worry about the many thousands of Americans who are killed just going to work and back by the many gun slinging Americans on the loose?

  9. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Would have thought if the monkeys were genuinely mistreated once they
    Got up to the top of the palm trees they would not come down again.
    Feel peta need to do a bit more research on the subject really.

  10. Avatar

    Stone Cold Steve Austin

    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Thailand, the Land of animal crualty. B****rds !

  11. Avatar


    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I don’t get why US companies are complaining. After all 70 mio voters seem fine with the monkey business supplied by the WH and it’s white gorillas. Simple discrimination and jealousy of the smarter Thai monkeys.

  12. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    You watch, they will be complaining about the treatment of elephants by there mahouts next and probably stop the import of elephant dung products.

    I think trump or the cia is probably behind it.

    Why should us monkeys and elephants be out of work when there thai cousins have an unfair advantage.

    We shall see.

  13. Avatar


    Monday, November 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm


  14. Avatar


    Monday, November 16, 2020 at 6:52 pm


  15. Avatar

    James Pate

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 2:29 am

    Some monkeys are treated well and others are not. We could say the same about every species on Earth, including humans. An overall ban on Thai coconuts is going to far. While I abhor idiotic practices like cosmetics testing on shaved animals, this is too much. PETA should prioritize and pick its battles more judiciously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.


Thailand jumps on the electric bandwagon, aims to become EV production hub

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Flickr / JCT 600

The Thai government has ambitious plans to turn the Kingdom into a Southeast Asian hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles. Nikkei Asia reports that big companies in Thailand are preparing to invest substantially in the greener mode of transport, after the National Electric Vehicle Policy Committee suggested a new manufacturing target could mean half of Thailand’s auto-production is made up of electric vehicles by 2030.

The message to car manufacturers and energy suppliers is to grab this opportunity to invest in the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicles, as the number of drivers using such cars is expected to rise significantly. The Thailand Board of Investment says that between 2017 and 2019, investment in EV production and its infrastructure reached 79 billion baht. That figure is expected to rise at a much quicker rate over the next 3 years.

According to the Nikkei Asia report, Toyota was the first car manufacturer to make EVs in the Kingdom, with Chinese manufacturers becoming more competitive in recent years. The latest Chinese firm to join the EV revolution is Great Wall Motor, which plans to launch electric vehicles this year. The number of EV manufacturers in Thailand is also growing, but Surapong Phaisitpattanapong from the Federation of Thai Industries’ Automotive Industry Club says they still need to overcome serious supply chain challenges. He says manufacturers of the traditional internal combustion engine now find themselves trying to supply parts for electric vehicles, including batteries, motors and converters.

“It’s all about the economy of scale. If the number of EV users goes up substantially, it would be worth investing, and everyone, including auto parts makers, would be ready to switch to producing EV parts, and that would create supply chains that are ready for the development of EVs, but it will take time.”

Surapong points out that the government hasn’t provided enough subsidies to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, saying there needs to be more of an incentive to deliver the sales boost needed.

“We think there should be a more direct subsidy for EV buyers to promote EVs, but we haven’t seen the government issue any kind of subsidies like that yet.”

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pfizer sees 45% increase in net income and revenue, as critics point to disparity in global vaccine availability




Stock photo via Flickr

After seeing a 45% increase in net income from last year, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, is largely increasing its projected profits for this year. And, the increase is undoubtedly due to the high amount of Covid-19 vaccine sales, in which the company says is shaping up to provide a “durable” revenue stream.

The company says this year’s first quarter profits featured almost 1/4 of sales coming from the Covid vaccines. As it is teaming with German partner BioNTech, the company is set to increase its vaccine production, putting it on track to see US$26 billion in revenues from the vaccine this year. The new number-crunching is an increase from the US$15 million that was projected in February of this year.

But the profits are triggering criticism as governments are feeling pressured to ensure vaccines are available in poorer countries. Chief Executive Albert Bourla, says the company is holding dialogues with “basically all governments of the world,” and it is awaiting approval from the US for 12 to 15 year olds to be able to receive the jab.

The company is also studying the efficacy of giving inoculations, or boosters, every 6 or more months after the second dose- in a move that signals even more profits on the horizon. Bourla says this scenario would allow the company to be both a leader and a financial beneficiary.

“It is our hope that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will continue to have a global impact by helping to get the devastating pandemic under control and helping economies around the world not only open, but stay open.”

But last month, World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, cited a “shocking imbalance in the global distribution of vaccines” and emphasised that the WHO’s Covax programmes must be fortified soon to allow poorer nations to gain access to the inoculations.

Zain Rizvi, a law and policy researcher at progressive Public Citizen advocacy group, says Pfizer’s increase in profits show the need for governments to take action to save lives.

“Pfizer is cashing in on the crisis and hoarding technology, even as billions of people around the world go without a vaccine. Pfizer’s profiteering shows the urgent need for governments to step-in. Governments should require Pfizer to share technology with manufacturers around the world to help ramp up global production.”

Pfizer has defended its vaccine pricing policy, saying it has moderated the cost to encourage broad access through the pandemic phase that could continue into the year 2022. But with a net income increasing by 45%, at US$4.9 billion over the past year and revenues jumping the same percentage to US$14.6 billion, critics point towards the continued disparity of vaccine availability between poor and rich countries. Pfizer’s shares have also increased by .3% to US$39.95.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading


What will be the most expensive real estate on MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition?

Tanutam Thawan



Phromthep Cape… Phuket Old Town… Patong Beach… These are just a few of the landmarks in Phuket that have now been short-listed since it was announced that Phuket will be getting its own edition of MONOPOLY.

The top squares of the the locally-themed game board will soon be handed over to Phuket’s most prominent places. With so much around Phuket that stands out, the public has been asked to help with what the top squares of MONOPOLY: Phuket edition should be.

“Thank you for everyone’s suggestions so far! We have seen so many wonderful ideas come in and we will start to put the game together very soon,” says Jennifer Lau of Winning Moves, the company putting together the Phuket edition of MONOPOLY under official license from MONOPOLY owners Hasbro.

“We’ve had so many suggestions for the most iconic places of Phuket to feature on the top end of the board, that it is difficult to decide what should be there!”

Tell Hasbro what you would like to see featured on the most prominent squares of the game by writing into the Phuket Monopoly Facebook page, or by emailing with your suggestions.

Maybe a “Go to jail (but pay 10,000 baht for a quick release)” or the Community Chest could be free for Thais but 500 baht for foreigners. When you land on a property you can be charged rent, but foreigners can’t buy the land. Go for it… 🙂


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism3 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8