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Kroger joins Costco, Target in dropping Chaokoh coconut milk over PETA allegations of monkey labor

Kroger joins Costco, Target in dropping Chaokoh coconut milk over PETA allegations of monkey labor


Kroger joins Costco, Target in dropping Chaokoh coconut milk over PETA allegations of monkey labor

PETA: Costco to drop coconut milk over monkey allegationsCostco Wholesale Club is the latest retailer to say it won’t stock coconut milk that used monkeys to pick coconuts, PETA said.USA TODAYThe selection of coconut milk for sale at the nation’s largest grocer is shrinking.Kroger, which operates several regional supermarket chains in 35 states, is the latest pledging not to stock coconut products from Thai suppliers who have been accused of using monkeys as forced labor, officials from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals exclusively told USA TODAY.Kroger confirmed it will drop Chaokoh branded products after it sells through its existing inventory. PETA has been pushing stores to stop selling coconut milk it says are made with coconuts harvested by monkeys since it began investigating the alleged animal exploitation in 2019. Target, Costco, Wegmans, Walgreens, Food Lion, Giant Food and Stop & Shop have also dropped the Thailand-based brand.Save better, spend better:  Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here“Every can of coconut milk purchased from Chaokoh represents the misery of a chained-up monkey,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement. “Any grocery store still buying from this brand after PETA’s exposés of coconut cruelty risks losing compassionate shoppers, so Kroger made the right call.”PETA says its members sent thousands of emails to Kroger and held protests with people dressed as monkeys holding signs outside of stores. It also dumped hundreds of what it says were “humanely picked coconuts” outside of Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters.Could a fireworks shortage affect July 4th celebrations? Phantom Fireworks urges customers to shop earlyThanksgiving 2021 closings: Kohl’s joins Walmart, Target, Best Buy in keeping stores closed for Thanksgiving. See the closings list.A Kroger spokesperson said in a statement to USA TODAY that the company followed its established process to evaluate the allegations and engaged the supplier and experts to determine its next steps, which were in line with its responsible sourcing commitment.“Given ongoing disruptions in on-farm audits due to COVID-19, we were unable to confirm or refute the allegations,” Kroger’s statement said. “As a result, we are suspending sourcing at this time and will re-evaluate in the future when more information is available.”Besides Kroger stores, the Cincinnati-based grocer operates several regional supermarket chains in 35 states, including Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, Mariano’s, Fry’s, Smith’s, King Soopers, QFC and others.The Thailand-based maker of Chaokoh coconut milk, Theppadungporn Coconut Co. Ltd, did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment. The company has denied using monkeys and previously said in a statement that it randomly selected coconut plantations to audit using a third party and “did not find the use of monkey for coconut harvesting.”According to a report released this week by Future Market Insights, the global coconut milk products market has been expanding at a steady pace because of the increase in demand for dairy alternatives. The report said the rising prevalence of diabetes and lactose intolerance is expected to boost demand for coconut milk products.7-Eleven Slurpee freebie: Free Slurpees return in July, but you need to be a rewards memberTarget Circle guide: How to save, get deals and earn cash back with Target’s free loyalty programFollow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For more shopping tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group. 

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