Mistreatment of animals can, in today’s era of heightened consumer awareness, quickly become a liability for a business.
And that doubles if the animal is one that many consider cute.
Earlier this week, Walmart (WMT) – Get the report from Walmart Inc. has become the latest retailer to drop a popular line of Thai coconut milk after concerns raised by People for the Ethical Treatments of Animals (PETA).
Chaokoh, like USA Today reported for the first timehas become the target of an animal rights group after allegations that its production process relies on the labor exploitation of monkeys.
Why are so many people upset with Chaokoh Coconut Milk?
“The coconut trade uses social monkeys like chained coconut-picking machines, depriving them of any opportunity to eat, play or spend time with their families,” the executive vice president said. of PETA, Tracy Reiman, in a press release.
“With one PETA briefing after another confirming cruelty on coconut farms, retailers are dropping Chaokoh left and right. Kudos to Walmart for their kind decision.”
PETA began drawing attention to this issue in 2019.
After visiting several of the Thai farms where the milk was produced, PETA released videos of monkeys being trained to grab coconuts based on orders from workers.
As the videos were shared and attention to PETA’s claims grew, a number of retailers began pulling Chaokoh products from their shelves.
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While the company was once a major supplier of coconut milk and coconut water in North America, more than 45,000 large and small retailers cut ties with it after the PETA investigation.
As of June 7, Walmart is one of the last major retailers to stop selling Chaokoh coconut milk.
According to PETA, Walmart has received more than 86,000 letters urging it to do so in recent months.
Chaokoh products are still available on Amazon (AMZN) – Get the report from Amazon.com Inc. at a cost of $20 for six 13.5-ounce cans.
Bad animal practices can be bad for business
In 2020, a company under contract with Theppadungporn Coconut Co. investigated Chaokoh’s practices.
This claims that after visiting 64 of his 817 farms, he found no monkeys used for picking coconuts.
PETA, in turn, claimed this was “misleading and inadequate.”
“Even though many retailers around the world have stopped buying Thai coconut products, the Thai coconut industry, including Chaokoh and the Thai Food Processors Association, and the Thai Ambassador in the United States are all actively trying to mislead retailers and global consumers about the continued use of monkey work,” PETA wrote on his site.
While the presence of the videos is one of the main reasons why the outcry has been particularly strong for Chaokoh, this type of pressure on producers to maintain certain standards of work and animal treatment has been going on for some time. time.
According to a study by the consulting firm Kearney, one in three American consumers now consider the environmental impact of every product they choose to buy at the grocery store.
The same goes for most other issues – labor, animal treatment and overall sustainability.
“There is significant momentum in the United States and abroad for companies to provide sustainability information that is reliable, consistent, and comparable,” wrote a group of Harvard researchers in a report. recent report to the rise of the sustainable consumer.