“Monkey business faces global challenges”
Leading supermarkets in United Kingdom have removed coconut water and oil from their shelves after it emerged that these products were made with fruits harvested by “monkeys slaves”. These monkeys are collected from the wild and trained to pick up to 1000 coconuts per day as described by the animal rights groups. Supermarkets including Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op and Boots have promised to stop selling these products. Co-op and Waitrose supermarkets said “As an ethical retailer” , we do not permit the use of monkey labor to source ingredients for our products.
Carrie Symonds Britain’s Prime Minister’s fiancée send out a Tweet to Tesco ” saying Over to you ! Please stop selling these products too. ” has thrown her weight behind the campaign to end the use of “Monkey Slaves” in coconut farming after the issue was exposed by PETA Asia, The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand and Wild Futures , animal rights group that that are raising global awareness about the issue, highlighting the unacceptable conditions in which the monkeys are obtained, trained and forced to work. Sainsbury, one of the UK leading supermarket has agreed to review all its coconut products.
The pigtailed macaques are trained at young age to climb the coconut trees and break the heavy coconut fruit. They are chained at the neck during the whole process. The monkey labor is preferred to human labor, a male monkey can harvest up to 1,600 coconuts, while female 600 coconuts a day compared to about 80 coconut by human. The monkeys are unable to organize themselves in unions to demand better terms of engagement. The new push by animal rights groups is likely to disrupt the global supply chain of popular coconut brand originating from Thailand.