HelloFresh, the popular meal delivery company, is under fire after accusations of using monkeys as forced labour for one of their coconut milk suppliers they use. The accusations stem from a report by PETA Asia that alleges “chained monkeys are forced to spend long hours climbing tall trees and picking heavy coconuts”.
PETA Asia undertook an eight month investigation into the practices of the coconut industry in Thailand, the third of its kind, and uncovered evidence that monkeys would be chained up and forced to scale coconut trees for hours at a time. The monkey labourers would also be whipped by their “owners”, with one “monkey school” owner admitting to buying infant monkeys from farmers who kidnap them from the wild despite this being an illegal practice.
In their investigation published on their official website, PETA claim that “a coconut broker who spoke to an investigator acknowledged that as a result of PETA Asia’s previous investigations, there has been intense international pressure on the industry to stop using forced monkey labour. Nearly 40,000 grocery stores around the world have dropped major Thai coconut milk producer Chaokoh and other brands known to be complicit in the monkeys’ suffering.”
PETA for years has urged companies and people not to purchase any canned coconut milk products manufactured in Thailand due to its abuse claims and are calling for the public to boycott using HelloFresh until a commitment is made by the company to abandon using specific coconut milk suppliers.
In a statement to US broadcaster CBS, HelloFresh has assured customers that “HelloFresh strictly condemns any use of monkey labour in its supply chain, and we take a hard position of not procuring from suppliers or selling coconut products which have been found to use monkey labour. We have written confirmation from all of our suppliers — in the U.S. and globally — that they do not engage in these practices."