PETA Is Calling For A HelloFresh Boycott After Animal Abuse Claims

Claims of abuse in the food industry are typically tied to issues like low wages, harassment and exploitation, and denial of the right to unionize. The latter charge has recently been leveled at HelloFresh, which delivers meal kits to about 7.5 million subscribers around the world, per Statista. According to The Guardian, employees of the company in two U.S. locations — Aurora, Colorado and Richmond, California — alleged last November that their attempts to unionize over safety concerns and working conditions had been met with abusive, anti-union tactics by management.

In August 2022, German media company Deutsche Welle reported that HelloFresh workers in Germany were taking the company to court based on similar allegations of anti-unionism, and have also alleged that the company has disseminated "misinformation" regarding their attempts to organize. But HelloFresh isn't just dealing with charges of abuse to its human workforce. It's also dealing with claims of animal abuse related to the production of coconut milk in Thailand, based on a recent investigation from the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Charges of monkey forced labor leveled at HelloFresh

According to PETA's most recent investigation into monkey abuse in Thailand, HelloFresh's coconut milk suppliers in the country are complicit with kidnapping endangered macaque monkeys from the wild and chaining them in cages when they aren't being forced to act as unpaid labor to pick coconuts. PETA claims there are over 50 "brokers" who are abusing monkeys across Thailand's coconut growing provinces, notes CBS News, adding that PETA has asked its supporters to boycott HelloFresh and to avoid coconut milk produced in the Southeast Asian country.

HelloFresh strongly denies the charges of animal abuse leveled by PETA. "HelloFresh strictly condemns any use of monkey labor 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 labor. We have written confirmation from all of our suppliers — in the U.S. and globally — that they do not engage in these practices," the company told CBS News.

PETA alleges that two of HelloFresh's coconut milk providers in Thailand, Suree and Aroy-D, have confessed to abusing monkeys for their coconut-picking prowess. Daily Mail reported in June, after an earlier PETA investigation, that Walmart would no longer sell coconut milk from a Thailand-based brand Chaokoh, adding their stores to the 45,000 around the globe that no longer carry coconut milk sourced from that supplier.