HelloFresh uses coconut milk obtained from monkey labor in Thailand, according to allegations from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is calling for a boycott of the food delivery service.
Monkeys are chained, beaten, beaten and forced to pick coconuts for hours, according to a PETA Asia study. According to the findings released Monday, animal cruelty claims have been filed against 57 operations in nine provinces of Thailand.
In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, HelloFresh said the company receives written assurances from its suppliers that its coconuts are not obtained with monkeys.
“HelloFresh strongly condemns any use of monkey labor in the supply chain, and we take a hard stance not to source from or sell coconut products from suppliers found to be using monkey labor. We have written confirmation from all our suppliers – in the US and worldwide – that they do not engage in these practices.”
Brokers to HelloFresh’s coconut milk suppliers showed PETA the monkeys, who were chained to litter-strewn patches of dirt and flooded areas with car tires as their only shelter, according to the animal rights group, which published both photos of its investigation and video footage.
Most monkeys are abducted from their families in the wild, even though the species exploited by the coconut trade are threatened or endangered, the animal welfare group said.
“Monkeys are chained around the neck and forced to toil day after day, all for HelloFresh and other companies that have no conscience,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman claimed in an emailed statement Monday. “PETA is calling on everyone, including HelloFresh, to stop buying canned coconut milk from Thailand until money is no longer used and misused for profit.”
The Berlin-based company has a global reach and operates in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US .
The company had 7.5 million active customers in the third quarter, a three-month period in which the company generated more than $1.9 billion in revenue, it said last month.
For years, PETA has been urging companies and people not to buy canned coconut milk products made in Thailand because of abuse claims. The group received such a commitment in 2020 from.
After the findings of a previous PETA investigation were released in 2019, the Thai government offered insurances that monkeys would no longer be forced to pick coconuts. According to Reuters, one of the largest coconut exporters, Thailand exported $396 million worth of coconut milk in 2019.
Thailand’s Wildlife Friends Foundation has long called for the use of monkeys to pick coconuts, routinely rescuing what it calls “abused coconut monkeys.” In May, the group described how a macaque was cast out to survive on its own after it was no longer of use to pick the fruit.