Walmart Pulls Chaokoh Coconut Milk After Allegations of Forced Monkey Labor

Walmart is the latest retailer to pull the Chaokoh coconut milk brand off its shelves. There have been allegations that the milk brand uses monkey labor.

Ade Hennis - Author

Jun. 9 2022, Published 9:09 a.m. ET

Walmart has pulled Chaokoh coconut milk amid monkey labor
Source: Chaokoh Facebook

Child and animal labor has been a concern surrounding some of the top brands around the world today. While many organizations are trying their best to force companies to stop using these practices, it still occurs in countries where labor laws are very loose. But PETA earned a huge win. Walmart is pulling a coconut milk brand off its shelves due to accusations that the brand uses monkey labor for production.

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While the U.S. does use monkeys for scientific research, it doesn’t generally allow them to be used for physical labor to produce products. But in certain countries such as Thailand, animals can be used to harvest products.

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Source: Pexels
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The Chaokoh brand is in question.

Chaokoh is a food and beverage company that specializes in coconut-based products. The company uses coconuts in a variety of different ways such as milk, water, paste, cream, and oil. It also sells other products such as jackfruit and lychee. It was a popular brand among consumers in the U.S., especially for a variety of different cultures. In 2020, the company reportedly had its products exported to over 40 countries, and the U.S. and Canada made up 55 percent of its exports.

Chaokoh is based in Thailand, and the country doesn't have strict labor laws involving animals like other parts of the world. In 2019, PETA accused the brand of using monkeys to pick the coconuts for its products. In response to the accusations, Chaokoh did a research study and found that from the 64 of the 817 farms that were randomly selected for the study, they didn’t use monkeys for coconut harvesting.

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While that may somewhat help the Thai brand’s case, 64 out 817 farms don’t even represent 8 percent of the total locations. The animal rights nonprofit also claims that the audit was misleading. Among the abuse and mistreatment that the coconut milk company is accused of doing to the animals, PETA claims that monkeys pick around 400 coconuts per day for the company, all while in chains, which restricts their freedom, socialization, or many other everyday activities.

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Walmart is the latest supplier to pull Chaokoh products off their shelves.

Ever since the allegations surfaced, retailers across the world have pulled Chaokoh products off their shelves including Costco, Kroger, Target, and Walgreens. Costco was one of the first to do it in 2020, and now Walmart is following other retailers with rising concerns about Chaokoh’s business practices. The global retailer reportedly received over 86,000 emails from PETA supporters complaining about the misuse of monkeys from the Thai brand.

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walmart chaokoh
Source: Getty

The nonprofit claims that more than 45,000 stores have discontinued selling Chaokoh coconut milk since its investigation in 2019. While most of the biggest retailers in the world have stopped selling the products, PETA is calling on more retailers to stop. One of the next big retailers that PETA would likely want to stop selling the products is Amazon, since the coconut milk is available to purchase on the website.


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