Primates are appreciated for their work, as a male monkey can collect 1,600 coconuts a day on average and a female can get 600 coconuts, while a human being can only harvest around 80 coconuts a day.
“Waitrose & Partners supports Peta’s goal to end the use of monkey work in the coconut industry. As part of our animal welfare policy, we are committed to never knowingly selling any products from the work of monkeys, “said John Gregson, communications manager for health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners
Morrisons has removed the Thai brands from its shelves and Boots, Co-op and Ocado have promised that they will not sell products that use monkey work.
The investigation, conducted by the animal rights organization Peta Asia, found that farms train monkeys to collect coconuts from trees. Multiple locations were suppliers of major international suppliers of coconut products, including two of the largest coconut brands.
Investigators documented monkeys showing “stereotyped repetitive behaviors” indicative of extreme stress. The monkeys were also chained to old tires surrounded by garbage or confined in cages just larger than their own bodies and left in the pouring rain without shelter.
To prevent handlers from being bitten, monkeys often also have their teeth pulled out.
“These curious and highly intelligent animals are denied psychological stimulation, companionship, freedom and anything else that would make their lives worth living, all so that they can be used to harvest coconuts,” says the director of Peta Elisa Allen. “Peta asks decent people to never support the use of enslaved monkeys by avoiding coconut products from Thailand.”