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Did a Monkey Pick Your Coconuts?

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In some regions of the world, pig-tailed macaques are intentionally bred and trained – often with punishment – to harvest coconuts. The monkeys are always tethered to their “handler” and are not permitted to eat the coconuts they collect. No statistics exist detailing exactly how many monkeys are bred and used for this purpose. In an effort to help compassionate consumers make informed choices, Animal Place reached out to a number of companies that sell coconut oil or other products containing coconuts. This is not an exhaustive list and you can reach out to a company yourself and let us know if they respond. Our Approved! list includes companies that do not use monkeys and, also important, that engage in practices protecting the rights of human workers as well (e.g. fair trade, no child labor.) We will add to this list as we learn more information.

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Photo by David Edwards, under Creative Commons License

APPROVED! Companies That DO NOT Use Monkeys AND are Fair-Trade
These companies engage in ethical business practices, ensuring human workers are properly compensated for their work. They do not use monkeys or human children to harvest coconuts.

Amy & Brian
Daiya
3 Buddhas Coconut Water
Alaffia
Aunt Patty’s
Ayam
Artisana Organics
Better Body Foods
Big Tree Farms
Carrington Farms
Coconut Bliss
Coconut Magic (Australia)
Coconut Secret
Dr. Bronner’s

Earth Circle Organics
Harmless Harvest
La Tourangelle Artisan Oils
Maison Orphee
Naked Coconuts
Native Pacific “Banaban” (Queensland)
Nutiva
Ojio (Ultimate Superfoods)
Sanso-Boeki LLC (Japan)
So Delicious
Silk
Spectrum Organics
Trader Joe’s
Tropical Traditions
Vita Coco

Companies that responded but did not clarify whether monkeys were used:
Taste the Dream (Hain-Celestial) – stated that their products are fair-trade but did not clarify that only adult humans harvested coconuts.
Coconut Oil Supreme
Mercola
Blue Diamond

Companies that have not responded yet:

Better Body Foods
Native Forest
Nature’s Way
Thai Kitchen
Trident (Australia)
Bio Foods
Chaokoh
Coconut Beach
Harvest Bay
LouAna
Nature’s Bounty
Nature’s Charm
Safeway
Spiral Foods
Taste of Thai

189 Responses so far.

  1. Sharon Okey says:

    Hi, this is something I have never heard of before either!

    I have just had a look at the brand of Coconut Oil I have in my cupboard and it does not appear to be included in your list, so I was wondering if you would like to add this to your research:

    Banaban Coconut Oil Extra Virgin marketed by Nature Pacific Pty Ltd in Queensland, Australia.

  2. MJ says:

    I use Earth Circle Organics EVCO…if you’d like to add to your list of companies to contact. Thank you.

  3. Dessa says:

    Can you check on Nature’s Way as well?

  4. sally jacques says:

    this is disgusting, so if you are participating in this cruelty stop now. I will not enter any of your stores or eat at your restaurants until I hear this practice has stopped.

    • Joe bloggs says:

      You really owe it to yourself to start investing your passion in more meaningful things. Who’s to say that monkeys don’t enjoy the work/engagement? Is this seriously something that you’re going to organise your life around?

      • Animal Place says:

        Do we? It’s meaningful to our supporters who want to avoid products that harm animals. And if you think stealing baby monkeys from the wild to tether them 24/7 to pick coconuts for humans is a nice thing to do, we can’t help you there. Thanks for stopping by – perhaps you can refocus your efforts on endeavors that inspire you instead of leaving rude comments on things you don’t really care about.

      • Lynette Brimble says:

        Hi, Joe. I don’t share your belief that monkeys are the beneficiaries here. It doesn’t really jive with the notion of capitalism. Hopefully, you focus on other animal issues where you find more meaning (meaning, you consider at least some other animals important).

      • Danielle says:

        Seriously? You came all the way here, in the comments section of a vegan website, just to troll? Of course the monkeys don’t enjoy it. They have freaking chains around their necks! And people say vegans shove their beliefs don’t the throats of meat eaters? Well buddy, that’s exactly what you’re doing to us

      • Eva says:

        If they are chained so that they can’t get away whose to say they want to be there. What a ridiculous thing to say.

      • And did slaves enjoy picking cotton and getting whipped? Monkeys are wild animals that should not be caged, and I am very sure they do NOT like being punished for not responding to commands.

      • Dave says:

        The very first line is perhaps a blatant clue as to why people are passionate about this issue…”In some regions of the world, pig-tailed macaques are intentionally bred and trained – often with punishment – to harvest coconuts.” Cruelty and exploitation doesn’t usually sit well with most people, why are you ok with it?
        “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke.

      • Rae Sikora says:

        Joe, The monkeys are whipped and tethered and kept as slaves. Their mothers are killed so the babies can be stolen and trained. I think it is pretty clear in any of the eye witness accounts and films that they are not enjoying this. If you were in a situation like these monkeys are, you would want us to organize our life around freeing you from the abuse.

      • chris says:

        When they are babies, their mothers are killed and they are then taken away from their families and natural habitats and trained by farmers.
        They live with a very heavy metal collar around their necks with a heavy metal chain attached 24/7. The “trainers” make them stand on their hind legs for hours and hours so they can learn to stand all the time in order to reach the tallest coconuts. This is painful, as they have evolved to mostly walk on all fours.
        Recently, in protest, a monkey threw a coconut at his “owner’s” head and killed him. The monkey was then killed.
        Tell me, what animal in the world would “enjoy” being stolen from its mother, forced to live with heavy chains around his neck, while forced to pick coconuts for someone else all day, and then living in a cage all night? What kind of life is that and what kind of cluelessness does it require for someone to think that it is “enjoyable and engaging” for the enslaved?
        It scares me that there are people in the world who can possibly be as clueless and apathetic as you.

      • Mary Delaney says:

        Yes. It’s as simple as choosing the brand you buy. Do you think you would like to work with a collar around your neck all day? We used to do this to humans. It was called slavery. We know better now and maybe you will be enlighted enough one day to understand that wild animals shouldn’t spend thier lives in this kind of captivity.

      • Gabrielle Antney says:

        Joe Blogg…Are you serious??? Animals are not here for humans to use or exploit!!!

      • Gabrielle Antney says:

        What would you classify as “More meaningful” Joe Bloggs????

      • Karamoon says:

        The monkeys are caged and chained. They are forced to pick coconuts instead of having the freedom to be in their natural habitat. Put yourself in their position. Would you like to be taken from your home, caged, chained and forced to work 24/7?

      • Annette says:

        I understand your concern when there is so much suffering in the world. But I think this is a worthy pursuit.

      • Ganesh says:

        Who’s to say indeed but usually when one enjoys the work you don’t have to put a noose around their neck and hold them on a leash.

        Unless we somehow learn to communicate with animals and they can state a consent to an activity, it is highly immoral to assume that they enjoy it

      • Then may you be so enslaved to enjoy the same work/engagement. You need to look in to the abuse those monkeys are subjected to. The horrible existences those slaves are forced to endure. When there are companies that do not use them, why would anyone knowingly support the companies that do? Wow.

  5. wanda says:

    Read an advertisement a few days ago about tea leaves picked by monkeys.. can not believe this is happening.

  6. Veronica says:

    is there any despicable thing that human beings won’t do?!

  7. Salise says:

    Thank you very much for bringing things like this to our attention. I’m glad Nutiva made the cut. I’ve bought alot of it over the years.

    Do you have a list of the companies that have been shown to definitely engage in the practice of using monkeys in this way?

    • Animal Place says:

      To date, no company has admitted to using monkeys. The only company that has given a vague answer was Hain-Celestial (which did not admit or deny the use of monkeys but referred us to their fair-trade document).

      We do not know how prevalent the use of monkeys really is, but as many of our supporters have expressed an interest in knowing which companies might be deemed safe, we felt it was fair to reach out and post the names of companies that are safe to use.

  8. Susan Vaughn says:

    I would like to see full disclosure on every product that we might consume, be it outside or inside our bodies.

    • heather calk says:

      companies lie. sadly, even the reporting they do to the USDA is rarely confirmed…they just print it on the side of the package, end of story. I think we must advocate more for fair trade products. that means buy them instead I suppose unless there is another suggestion? moderator?

      • Animal Place says:

        While it is possible the companies that responded lied, we tend to take their answers on good faith. All of the approved companies listed also engage in fair-trade practices for the human workers as well.

  9. P Price says:

    Aunt Patty’s Coconut Oil Packaged by GloryBee, Inc. Eugene, OR?
    Natures Bounty? :-)

  10. re coconut milk – did not see Native Forest on list – i get mine thru Swanson Health Porducts in Fargo ND

  11. I have been using Better Body Foods Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, bottled in the US,BUT, product of the phillipines,Sri Lanka and india is this on any list.?????

  12. heather calk says:

    would you please follow up to see if anymore companies responded in say 30 days? run this again? this is serious. two of the non reply company’s I do regular business with. thank you,heather

  13. Elsy Shallman says:

    Wow! I totally had no clue. It’s amazing how sick humans can be. Always thinking of new ways to make their lives easier at the expense of innocent animals.

  14. Lisa says:

    What about tea that is monkey picked? I see ads for that on Ebay all the time. I had no idea monkeys are used to pick coconuts. Now I’ll be sure to only purchase the brands that don’t use them

  15. Bridgett Heinly says:

    Can you add Ojio and Artisan brands to your list to contact as well. This is insane that monkeys are bred for this purpose!

  16. Sandra Harris says:

    This is the first time i’ve heard of such a thing happening. In my mind, I am calling them every foul name in the book. The picture of a big man with a chained monkey forced to carry a mellon as big as the man’s head. It should be the other way around. It’s absurd the lengths people will go to to avoid work and make money without lifting a finger except to be cruel and torment innocents.

  17. Ky says:

    Wow!! Thank you so much for alerting me to this practice. I had NO idea. I will only use the companies you listed as monkey slave labor free.

  18. James says:

    Can you check Carrington Farms and Spring Valley Coconut Oil

  19. Pamela Countryman says:

    The coconut oil I use fortunately doesn’t use monkeys. I would like to see a petition or something that will make it illegal to use monkeys for this purpose, as well as entertainment in the streets which happens in Thailand.
    Elephants are also used, abused by humans for many atrocities. Please, let’s do something to change this.

    • Lisa Matthews says:

      Pamela,
      Go go onto Care2’s website. it’s a great site that you can create any petition you want to. I started signing them when Cecil the Lion was brutally murdered. I think these are great and they can warrant a lot of signatures. Cecil’s petition was taken to the White House!
      good luck and thank you for caring about sweet monkeys. I am so appalled at this. I don’t think I will buy ANY coconut products now. I am disgusted with (men) humans who inflict harm on sentient beings to make financial gains!

  20. Katrina Thomason says:

    I’m proud to see a local company, So Delicious, made the approved list! I’ll tell my friend in marketing well done!

  21. Madeleine says:

    Thank you for bringing this to public attention. Wouldn’t we assume that if they do respond and don’t specifically deny it, they probably are doing it?

  22. Arna Cortazzo says:

    Would you please check Greenwise? Thank you.

  23. Simon says:

    I just sent an inquiry to Trader Joe’s and will see if they reply…I udder everyone to send inquiries to the listed companies and ask them what their policy is in this matter.

  24. Patricia Panora says:

    This is simply
    INTOLERABLE!
    I have used the products on BOTH lists, and those who deliberately choose to ABUSE?
    They’re OFF MY list!

  25. Rita Lemkuil says:

    FIRST THEY WON’T LABEL GMO’S NOW THIS? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO???

  26. Grace K. says:

    Can you please reach out to Chaokoh, Goya, and A Taste of Thai brands? (They all manufacture canned coconut milk). Thank you!

  27. Sharon saunders says:

    Do you know if coconut beach uses monkeys and is there any place in tac wash where you can find coconut milk or water that doesn’t abuse animals? Thank you.

  28. andrea reese says:

    I just sent an inquiry to Coconut Bliss, my fave non-dairy ice cream. Thanks for the info! This is terrible. :( Andrea Reese

  29. JMarie says:

    This is so horrifying, thank you for bringing this to eveyone’s attention, this way we can put a stop to this and pray and send love to these innocent beautiful monkeys. Thank you Animal Place for all you do for all these beautiful animals. xoxo

  30. Judy Shipley says:

    The best way to solve this problem is stop purchasing products with coconut anything. For the most part these countries have burned/cut down the rain forests to plant their coconut orchard/farms to provide the world with the by products. The use of animals in this process is unconscionable & outrageous.

    • Jessica says:

      I wish it was that easy, and unless you have some awesome ideas I will continue to purchase coconut products!! My son has a soy, nut, and dairy allergy!! He does not like the rice milk!!

  31. Alexis says:

    How about Tropical Traditions coconut oil?

    I feel sick since reading this a few minutes ago. I feel broken hearted. I never even thought of such a thing. How can we stop it?

  32. Linda Adsit says:

    Thank you so much for doing this research. It’s important to let us know so that we won’t buy from companies that do things like this. That photo broke my heart. The jerk holding the leash is just standing there getting fat. That little monkey deserves to live like a monkey, not a slave.

  33. Please keep us updated. I am particularly interested in Trader Joe’s as I shop there weekly. If they are supporting this abuse, I will take my business elsewhere.

    Did you check out Whole Foods Market?

    Thanks.

  34. Jay says:

    Thank you for bringing this practice to light because I think it is not widely known at all. There are so many companies that make coconut products – this is just a handful compared to all that are out there. What about Spectrum? They make coconut oil.

  35. Pat Cuviello says:

    Thanks for exposing this.

  36. k.v. Adamski says:

    I won’t eat any coconuts just to be safe.

  37. Shirley says:

    This is just so sad. Can you add La Tourangelle to the inquiry. Thanks

  38. Izmaylova Diana says:

    Hi, this is terrible :( and absolutely unacceptable.
    I usually use Kokovita or Urtekram (I live in Finland). I’ll try to check them by itself, but it’d be better if you send request too. Thank you for doing this.

  39. Mark says:

    Coukd you check Safeway? I didn’t see them on the list or the comments. I was going to get a couple cans to make Incian food :O I’ll get so delicious instead.

  40. JAN PAYNE says:

    So sad some people are so evil this is so disgusting

  41. sandy says:

    Wow! This is terrible. Could you find out about Tropical Traditions coconut oil?

  42. Michelle says:

    Would you please add Spiral Foods (from Sri Lanka) to your list. I use a lot of coconut oil but I do not want to fund a company that isn’t doing the right thing.

  43. Trudi says:

    Please ask mercola.com. Don’t know where there wonderful coconut oil comes from. Thanks.

  44. Eirini says:

    Hello! thank you for bringing things like that into publicity!! could you add alpro and biona to your list for companies to ask? thank you!!!:)

  45. Ellen says:

    Great to know! How lame that the puggy human cannot do any of the work. Poor monkey! I have been purchasing the hain celestial coconut milk and wrote them letting them know that I will stop buying their products until they make a public commitment to not use and abuse any animal as part of their practice.

    I am a vegetarian mostly for ethical reasons and want to only support companies who do not harm animals and humans particularly when it is this type of product.

    Good thing for consumers that there are many choices out there!

  46. sara stepnicka says:

    do you know if the whole foods brand of coconut oil uses monkeys? what is wrong with people that they would do this? thanks for making us aware of this. i love you guys!

  47. Therese says:

    All those who have responded are American companies. I live in UK, North West. Where can I buy “monkey-free” coconut products from please?

    • Animal Place says:

      We are a US organization and are unfamiliar with UK companies – if you have a name of a specific brand, we could look into it.

      • Dee Rose says:

        Please could you add Biona and Koko (milk alternative) to the companies you’re approaching. I’m also from UK and use these products regularly. Also do you know where coconut oil is used as ingredients within a product (eg.Violife cheeses)if this practice is also in use. I will also contact these individual companies myself to see what response I get. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. :(

    • Alison says:

      I’m in the UK, the brand I have at the moment is ‘Lucy Bee'; I’ve checked their website and they state that monkeys aren’t used (and neither are children).
      https://www.lucybee.co/coconut-oil/faqs/
      There is also a ‘how to buy’ page on the site listing retailers, seems to be quite widely available.

      (I have no connection to this company, am posting for info)

  48. Michiko says:

    My favorite brand of coconut water is Harvest Bay and I don’t see it here. If you have a chance, I’d love to know about the ethics of their pracitces. I checked their site and there wasn’t any information there. Thank you for this!! _/|\_

  49. Lynn says:

    Disgusting human beings. Who the hell gave them the right to ill treat those animals. Why is nothing done by them in power to stop it. Stop buying coconuts ! Stop take a moment to think of the SUFFERING those animals are exposed to for those of you who purchase Coconuts – Really!

  50. Heidi says:

    Hi, Can you add “Nature’s Charm” to your list? They make a coconut condensed milk (vegan) for baking. Thanks

  51. Amy Fried says:

    What about companies that use coconut oil, like Daiya cheese?

  52. Robyn Whittaker says:

    Hi very upset about the treatment of these poor monkeys..how dare they do this..can you check Planet foods manafactured by Healthy Warrior In Australia, sold in coles stores here. I buy the coconut oil and coconut flour but this brand is not on your list.. Thank you for this research.

  53. SIRG says:

    I know you mentioned coconut oil products but is coconut palm sugar of the same concern? If so, could you please check “Big Tree Farms”? I will boycott them if they are using these heinous methods! Thank you for all you hard work!

  54. Amanda says:

    Thank you for exposing & sharing this information. Can you please add LouAna brand & Costco’ s Kirkland to your inquiry? Lord knows they sell hundreds of their bottles. Thank you again.

  55. Stephanie says:

    Hello, I use Omega Nutritioin coconut oil. I emailed them specifically to ask if they used monkey’s to pick their coconuts and if not who did pick them and this is the answer I recieved.

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for your inquiry about Omega Nutrition Coconut Oil. This product is a product of the Philippines.

    Omega Nutrition Coconut Oil is certified organic by USDA, and this type of practice will not pass organic certification of the product as the procedures followed prior to allowing certification include the soil, the product and the farmers and its facilities. Such use of animals in handling coconut products will certainly fail approval for organic certification. Also, there is no possibility that this type of animals can be certified.

    Thank you.

    My question is, are they blowing smoke up my butt. I dont really see them say, no we never use monkey’s but rather it could never pass the USDA and organic certfication. Is that absolutely true? Or are they dancing around the issue? What you guys think?

    • Linda says:

      I’ve just emailed them this morning to ask them the same question. I’ll post here if I get a different reply.

      What they’re saying about organic certification is complete rubbish though. There’s nothing in the USDA’s criteria about not using animals. (What we really need is a veganic certifying board, but, alas, I don’t think they’d have much business.)

    • Brigid says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      I also contacted Omega to inquire about this issue. The answer I got was:

      “Omega Nutrition Coconut Oil is certified organic meaning the soil where it is harvested, the people harvesting and the equipment used in the process must pass organic certification. There is no way such animals can be certified.”

      I also find it a strange way of answering the question, it’s quite indirect. I’ve asked for a clarification and will update. I really really want to believe this brand is OK as I use it in bulk for products I make. I will post with any updates.

  56. Jamie says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for bringing attention to this! Do you think you could add Alaffia as well as their brand Everyday Coconut to this list? Thanks! (:

  57. Denise says:

    Would you be able to contact Blue Diamond, since their Almond Breeze brand makes an almond-coconut milk blend? This issue really upsets me greatly!

  58. Andrea Reese says:

    I received this response from the makers of Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream:

    Hi,

    Thanks for reaching out. I want to assure you that the coconuts for our coconut milk are not harvested by trained primates. Members of the Coconut Bliss team have been to our suppliers’ coconut farms and processing facilities on two separate occasions. During both visits they saw the human workers harvesting the coconuts, and they also saw that the workers were treated well. We have very close relationships with our suppliers, not only to insure the highest quality ingredients, but also to be sure workers are treated fairly and all are human.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions about our products or ingredients.

    Blissful Regards,
    Kate

    Kate Campbell
    Quality Assurance Manager
    Director of Sustainability
    Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss
    Bliss Unlimited, LLC
    PO Box 288
    Eugene, OR 97440

  59. Alia says:

    What about Kelapo?

    • Kayla says:

      Alia,

      No, we definitely do not use any animal or monkeys in the collection/harvest of our coconuts.

      We are proudly Fair Trade certified, which means that we pay premium wages to human workers in Sri Lanka who harvest our coconuts. We are certified Fair Trade by the IMO and you can find this certification on our “Our Values” section that I am including in the e-mail. https://kelapo.com/fair-trade-coconut-oil/

      We greatly appreciate your business and hope that this helps.

  60. Jordan Blank says:

    Can you please check “Coconut Oil Supreme” sold online only, at http://www.CoconutOil-online.com ? Thank you!

  61. Julie Sharpe says:

    What about Tropical Traditions?

  62. Axa Tolonen says:

    What about Santa Maria, Thailand and

    Bliss Coconut table spread, Aduki?

    • Animal Place says:

      Hi Axa,
      We are waiting on a response for Santa Maria. Is Aduki a brand? We cant find a company with that name. If you have a manufacturer, we can look those up.

  63. Danielle says:

    Has there been a petition about the way these monkeys are treated

  64. Lasse says:

    I used to get maui foods coconut water and didnt see it on the list, now hoping they didnt abuse monkeys for their products :/ could you add them?

  65. mira says:

    Is fair trade not always a product of human work ?
    I don’t see http://www.fairtrade.nl/ in your list

  66. martey says:

    99% from Thai coconuts are collected by monkeys. The product from coconuts, the oil, you find in ALL brands soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

    Nearly impossible to avoid this product

    • Animal Place says:

      What evidence do you have that 99% of coconuts in Thailand are collected by monkeys?

      • Martey says:

        Visit all coconut plantations between Chumphon and Hatyai, and on Koh Samui, and you will know. As far as my information goes is Thailand nr. 3 exporter from coconuts in the world. Not using monkeys means that people have to collect the coconuts.For people it is a very dangerous job. A lot of fatalities during coconut collection. And I am sure there are bad monkey owners/handlers. But all I have seen do not punish their monkey, and treat the monkey better then most Thai treat their dogs.

      • Catman says:

        From the NPR article:
        “”It would be difficult to find a coconut product made in Thailand that wasn’t picked by a monkey,” Arjen Schroevers tells The Salt by email. Monkeys pick 99 percent of the Thai coconuts sold for their oil and flesh, he says.”
        “Schroevers runs the Monkey Training School in Surat Thani, Thailand, a Buddhist-inspired school founded 50 years ago to teach monkeys how to pick coconuts without the use of force or violence.”

  67. Laird says:

    I contacted Ayam (a brand sold here in Australia), and received this response:

    Hi Laird,

    Thank you for your query regarding our coconut harvesting process.

    I can confirm that our coconuts are sourced from plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    I can confirm that we do not use monkeys or machinery when harvesting our coconuts.
    Our coconuts are removed by hand using skilled locals (manually). The workers will usually use a sharp blade with a long bamboo shaft when removing the coconuts from the tree.

    I hope this message has helped clarify any concerns, should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.

    Kind regards,
    AYAM™ Customer Care

    A.Clouet (Australia) Pty. Ltd
    11 Melissa Place
    Kings Park, NSW, 2148
    Australia
    Phone: +61 2 8814 8086
    Fax: +61 2 9678 9508
    E-mail: consumer@ayam.net.au
    Website: http://www.ayam.com
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AYAMAustralia

    SAVE A TREE. PLEASE CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT BEFORE YOU PRINT THIS E-MAIL.

  68. James says:

    This confuses me. My dog fetches my newspaper for me from the driveway every morning. Does that mean I am abusing her? Will somebody be putting me on a list someday?

    • Animal Place says:

      James,
      How is that at all similar? Did you abduct someone else’s dog, chain them 24/7, and require they engage in unnatural, strenuous labor collecting 1,000 newspapers a day? Your analogy is hardly similar.

      • MONKEY Man says:

        What about all those poor bees that toil away to collect nectar for their hives, only to have it stolen?

        Horses and dogs do plenty of work for us, so what’s wrong with that?

        For that matter, how would YOU like to be tied to a MONKEY all day?! What about that guy in the picture?

        For all of the outrage here, you’d all be better off contacting the companies yourselves, instead of telling someone else to do it for you.

        • Animal Place says:

          Animal Place is a vegan organization and does not endorse using other animals for honey, riding, performing dangerous jobs, etc.

          We do agree that if folks are that concerned, they should feel empowered to contact their favorite company themselves. It’s always good to do that, as they are actual consumers of the products in question.

      • sandy says:

        Great response Animal Place lol

    • chris says:

      Do you keep a heavy metal collar around your dog’s neck 24/7? Do you hit your dog when she doesn’t do as she’s told? Did you shoot your dog’s mother in the head so that you could steal your dog at only a few weeks old in order to train her to fetch said paper? If you answered yes to these questions then yes you are abusing her and yes your name should go on a list.

  69. Angela Heath says:

    Thank you for the valuable information. When will we ever stop exploiting animals for our gain?! It’s so disheartening. Please continue to update your list as the information becomes available to you as I am loathe to support anyone who takes advantage of other people or animals. Regards

  70. Patti says:

    vita coco?

  71. Ahn says:

    Hi, Thank you for this information. I just reached out to Vita Coco. My cynical side is doubtful that i will receive an honest response…
    Thank you Animal Place for your work.

  72. Tammy says:

    Wow! I had no idea! We use SO MANY coconut products in our home. I would quickly and willingly boycott any products who use monkeys in this manner. Very inhumane.

    I haven’t reviewed all 113 comments, but in looking through the products we have at home, I am curious about KIRKLAND SIGNATURE ORGANIC OIL (Costco), COCO LIBRE PURE ORGANIC COCONUT WATER manufactured by Maverick Brands, LLC in Palo Alto and EARTH BALANCE ORGANIC COCONUT SPREAD. Any further info on any of these would be terrific! I’m also waiting on Trader’s Joes as we have purchased their Coconut Oil Spray.

    Thank you for investigating this! I’d love to see Humane Society International jump in on this too! They are amazing in these types of situations. Thank you!

  73. Ahn says:

    Here was the response that I received from Vita Cocoa:

    Thank you for contacting Vita Coco!

    Vita Coco subscribes to a high-level of ethical practices at every stage of our production, from farming to manufacturing. Our farming partners do not use monkeys to harvest coconuts. This is just one of our standards and practices, and part of our overall Corporate Social Responsibility program, “Cocommunity.”

    Please visit our website and click onto “About Us,” and then click “Giving Back,” to learn more. This section details our ethical practices and our commitment to the communities in which we do business, globally.

    Sincerely,

    Jennipher Samms
    Vita Coco Product Specialist
    http://www.vitacoco.com

    Reference #000030143A

  74. Alfred says:

    Can you add jax coco coconut water to the list?

  75. Melissa says:

    Hi – RodaleWellness.com reached out to Hain-Celestial and they affirmed that they do not use monkeys in their harvesting.

  76. Tracy Frank says:

    Have you checked Kirkland Signature Brand… Organic Coconut Oil…In all Costco Warehouses? Thanks so much

  77. Rene Ruston says:

    I contacted Trader Joes regarding their coconut milk. This is their response:
    “Thank you taking the time to reach out to us. Our suppliers do not use animal labor (monkeys, or other species) to harvest coconuts. We hope this information is helpful.”

    All the best,

    Trader Joe’s
    Customer Relations Department

  78. Tamara says:

    Can you please find out if Amy & Brian Coconut Juice abuses monkeys? I asked them in a pm on their FB page and they blocked me. I assume that means yes, but I’d like a definitive answer. I won’t buy their product again if they do use monkeys to harvest.

    Thanks!

  79. Mandy says:

    Hi

    Do yiu know if organic road made by pacific organics uses monekey labour? Or coyo yogurts use it as well? I didnt see either of thise names on either list?

    Thank you

  80. Billie Marrs says:

    Barleans – http://www.barleans.com/

    you can add them to your list to ask

  81. Liz Bellette says:

    Hi. I have Cocobella coconut water in my fridge right now. It’s an Australian company using coconut water from Thailand. They are located in Scorseby, Victoria. I can’t see them on your list. I intend to send them an email as soon as I send this to you. Thanks. Liz…

  82. Daniel says:

    Hi all. A lot of passion here. Just a question, is everyone here a vegetarian? How about vegan? It’s confusing to me why people who will kill and eat animals are so concerned about animals making a living assisting harvesting fruit. Can anyone clarify this for me?

    Thanks!

    Daniel

  83. Joy Doogan says:

    The one i use isnt listed could you check its called pink sun organics certified organic extra virgin coconut oil

  84. We import and sell coconut oil in Japan. Our supplier do not use monkeys or human children to harvest coconuts, neither. I visited the supplier and confirmed it. I would like you to approve our product as well.

  85. Hi there,

    I have been buying Kulaway Coconuts (from Thailand) through my organic supplier for quite some time. After I found out about this I contacted Kulaway to ask them how their coconuts were harvested. They told me that monkeys were not used. But when I asked them to provide locations so I could put the word out and have their claims substantiated their representative was quite snarky and told me again monkeys weren’t used but DID NOT provide any locations…

    We all know how companies lie to the consumer. Do you know of this company and if their claims are true? I haven’t seen them on your approval list… How do we know to believe any company who says they DON’T use monkeys?

    Kind regards,

    Nicola

  86. Amanda says:

    I buy coconut oil from Aldi. Any idea what their status is on this issue?

  87. susan says:

    Sonoma Harvest brand?

  88. Hayley says:

    Did you contact anyone who makes cans of coconut milk? I can’t see any of the brands we have in Canada on the list.

  89. Anna says:

    Thanks for sharing this information!

    Could you please reach out to the following Australian businesses as well?

    Pureharvest
    loving earth
    ELAEIS ORGANIC

    Thank you :)

  90. I recently contacted Edwards & Sons who make the Let’s Do….Organic range of coconut products. They assure me that their coconuts are not picked by coconuts and are going to get back to me with details of the exact picking practices.
    This is what they said “I understand your frustration when it comes to unethical harvesting practices. I can assure you that monkeys are not used to harvest the coconuts used for our products.

    We do work with multiple facilities and with that comes different practices. Is there any coconut product in particular you are looking into? This will allow us to provide you with the most thorough and prompt response.”

    I have replied with the products I use so I will update you when I get a further reply.

  91. Mark says:

    I just got this comment back from a company called Raw C (based in Australia):

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the email.

    All our coconuts are harvested by people not by Monkeys. We are not a backyard operator & only use HACCP certified suppliers who pay their workers a fair wage. We are sorry if you think using a monkey as a mascot is poor taste but it was actually our followers/fans that choose the mascot.

    We visit our suppliers on a regular basis in Thailand & have never seen the use of monkeys.

    Anything else please let me know.

    Scott Mendelsohn | Head Coconut | Natural Raw C

    W. http://www.rawc.com.au

  92. Richard says:

    Wouldn’t it be better to list which companies DO use monkeys to pick coconuts rather than create all this uncertainty and suspicion?

    • Animal Place says:

      We have not found any that have admitted to using them. Our belief is that this is likely a localized issue or a whole coconut issue, and it’s harder for us to try and find source locations for every single coconut company in the world. We encourage people to reach out to companies not on this list (if they use their products) and find out more info if desired.

  93. Annemarie says:

    Hi, could you please add Amaizin to your list ? Thank you for the great work you do! Kind regards, Annemarie

  94. Kate says:

    Hi,
    I saw this in a post on Facebook yesterday, I had just bought some coconut water from a UK company ‘Innocent’. I wrote to them straightaway, the reply below came through an hour later and looks like another ‘safe’ supplier to add to your list:

    Response By Email (Rio at innocent) (11/02/2016 17:32)
    Hello there Kate,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us.

    We want to reassure you that we have a team here at innocent who are dedicated to visiting our fruit suppliers across the world to ensure all our ingredients are sourced responsibly.

    We’ve seen no evidence that anyone other than human beings are harvesting the coconuts for our drinks, and we would be extremely concerned if we were to find out about the inhumane treatment of animals within our supply chain. We are 100% committed to sourcing sustainably – protecting people, animals and the environment. We always have been, and we always will be.

    If you have a few minutes, you can read more about our approach to doing business responsibly here: http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/us/being-sustainable

    We hope that helps.

    All the best,

    Rio

  95. Beth Love says:

    I messaged Thai Kitchen on Facebook and got a response indicating they only use coconuts harvested by humans. I also asked about BPA in the lining of their cans. The news on that front is not so great. Please add to this message stream to thank Thai Kitchen and their parent company McCormick for socially responsible practices and to ask them to take the BPA out of the cans:
    https://www.facebook.com/EnjoyThaiKitchen/posts/10154110912097259?comment_id=10154112616877259

  96. Mags says:

    Hi. I contacted Biolife Cheese (an amazing vegan cheese in Australia) asking about the source of their product. This is their response although I do wonder whether the suppliers just say what they want the buyers to hear (i.e the stockist of the oils)

    “As you will see on our website, we stand by our products and love making great food for our customers and making a difference in communities across the country and the world. This means embedding sustainable practice into every part of what we do. We’re always finding better ways to create long-term social, environmental and economic value in the communities in which we work and live.
    Having checked with our suppliers, we can confirm to best of our knowledge that no monkeys were used to pick the coconut that our coconut ingredients are derived from. Our coconut oil is sourced from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

    We hope that you continue to enjoy our products as much as we do.

    Kind regards
    MyLife
    http://www.mylifebio.net.au
    (+61) 1300 006 926″

  97. Reenie says:

    Could you also add Koko to your list to check out?
    I will email them myself as well.
    This is a very useful list, thankyou!

  98. Antoine Lacour says:

    Also MyLife brand that produces Bio Cheese uses coconut oil.

  99. Maria-Adriana says:

    Do you know if Melissa’s Sweet Young Coconuts from Thailand would have used monkeys? I do not see it on the list.

    http://www.melissas.com/Sweet-Young-Coconut-p/220.htm

    Thank you for sharing all the info for the other brands!

    • Animal Place says:

      Hi Maria: Unfortunately we are unable to reach out to other companies. We strongly encourage you to contact Melissa’s and inquire – let us know and we’ll do our best to update the list!

  100. Elna says:

    This is absolutely disgusting!
    I’ve been googling Green Choice Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and they don’t even have a website, as far as I can see? I’m very concerned about participating to this cruelty, so PLEASE, if you can expand your list of good companies/bad companies, I would really appreciate it!

    Thank you!

  101. Kip Sieger says:

    I contacted Daiya about the sourcing of their coconuts and was pleased to receive a prompt response (two actually), but unfortunately even the second follow-up response was pretty vague. I was told:

    “There are a number of co-ops and a roundtable for coconut farmers:

    NATCCO Network The National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) is the largest cooperative federation in the Philippines.

    We have been working very closely with our suppliers to maintain the highest quality ingredients and also to ensure that our vendor partners embrace fair and sustainable practices established by existing co-ops and roundtable groups, when sourcing our ingredients.”

    The Daiya rep added:

    “I did a little personal reading and was amazed to read that in 2014 over 51 Million metric tonnes of coconuts were harvested.”

    Not completely sure what to make of all that – I think the PR guy may not really know all the details of the company’s coconut sourcing and is trying to straddle the line between providing a positive spin while also trying to do the right thing.

  102. Judy says:

    I reached out to Garden of Life and they emailed to say monkeys are NOT used to harvest their coconut oil. Here’s their email:

    “Hi Judy. What I found out is that our coconuts are harvested by humans. They are not “fair-trade”, however, we are a B-Corp certified corporation. https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/about/why-gol/certified-b-corp/ .”

  103. Ashley Riane says:

    I just got an email from mountain high organics inc (they produce tresomega coconut oil; theyre typically sold in sams club and other places) after i emailed regarding their process on gathering their coconut oil. I recieved a wonderful email back that they do NOT use animals in gathering their coconuts, nor do they use an animal products or by products in any other part of their process or manufacturing.
    If the blog owner would like a copy of my email for proof, id be happy to forward it.

  104. Lenni says:

    Ive been contacting a few companies here in Australia and not much luck with replies from eg H2coco and a few others. Luckily we do have Vita Coco and Dr Bronners here. Id like all these companies to assure their consumers by organising cruelty-free labelling in response to this issue. This needs to be clear on their packaging, their websites and across their social media pages. I would sooner not buy or consume ANY coconut product, until companies are forced to prove a certified cruelty-free status. Then, at the very least, we can all boycott any companies who do practise this cruelty.

  105. Jennie says:

    I contacted the company that sells Native Forest coocnut milk. Here it is:
    Hello Jennie,
    Thank you for contacting Edward & Sons Trading Co.

    We here at Edward & Sons understand your concern and appreciate your request for information. Please be assured that all of our coconut products are harvested under organic harvesting practices; no animals are used to pick the coconuts. There is a portion of our website dedicated to our mission. The following link will direct you:
    http://www.edwardandsons.com/mission.itml

    Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

    Thank you!
    Vanessa Lopez
    Customer Service
    Edward & Sons Trading Co.
    P: (805) 684-8500 Ext. 102
    F: (805) 684-8220

  106. Jarred says:

    I contacted daiya and they replied back that the coconut ingredients in their products aren’t harvested by monkeys

  107. Jarred says:

    Amy’s kitchen: “Our coconut is sourced from Thailand. We’re not aware of any involvement by monkeys. The coconuts are harvested by humans, who either climb the tree and grab the fruit by hand or cut the fruit using a long pole with a knife attached at the end.”

  108. Sam says:

    I contacted “Slave Monkey Coconuts” and they have assured me that monkeys are NOT used to pick their coconuts. Please add them to your list.

  109. Cesar says:

    Thank you for coming up w/this list, it helps a lot in making a decision before purchasing. I recently heard about this and decided to look more into it. There’s a very popular brand in Amazon called VivaLabs, hopefully we can see an updated list which would include this brand as well. I just posted a question in regards to this on their Amazon product page, let’s see what they say.

  110. Bumika says:

    Hi There, came across this article when a client asked if any of our farmers used monkeys to pick the coconuts. For the record, I wanted to confirm that NO monkeys are used to harvest our coconuts in the product of Kokonati products.
    Thanks. Please include in your list of Approved brands.
    We do not use Child labor and also help run welfare societies to cater to the needs of our village communities.

  111. elizabeth says:

    Do you know how the coconuts for Whole Foods brand “365 Organic Coconut Milk” are harvested? The can says “product of Thailand” so this brand is in question, but I don’t see it on the list –