Coconuts grow in tropical climates and are a fantastic source of fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. We use ground coconut flesh in all flavours of both our original and vegan blends.
We recently received a question from one of our customers about the coconut used in our products:
“I have some concerns about the coconut you are using. Can you confirm that you are not using Thai coconuts picked by monkeys? I was very distressed to learn about this cruel practice and wouldn’t want to be a part of it.”
This is a great question! We pride ourselves on the ethical sourcing of our ingredients across all of our products. We’d like to reassure our customers that no animal cruelty or animal testing is committed by Purition or our coconut suppliers.
However, we still strive to be fully informed and ever more conscientious. Therefore, we decided to take a closer look into the situation and check in with our coconut suppliers. Here’s what we found out…
Are coconuts vegan?
Coconuts are fruit, making them inherently vegan. But it’s how they are picked and harvested that means they’re not always free from cruelty.
A new PETA expose has revealed that Thai coconuts are sometimes harvested using ‘monkey slave labour’. The practice includes breeding and training pig-tailed macaques to climb trees and collect up to 1,000 coconuts every day.
According to the report, monkeys are illegally abducted from their families and homes in nature. Once they’re at the coconut farm, they’re fitted with tight metal collars and are chained up or tethered to their handler. They’re forced to work day-in-day-out and are not allowed to move around freely or socialise with their species.
Are Purition coconuts picked by monkeys?
The provenance of our ingredients is important to us. We aim to make responsible decisions about where, how and who we purchase our ingredients and packaging from.
Our UK coconut suppliers are a BRC approved food processor and distributor. They purchase directly from the county of origin. On arrival in the UK, they laser scan, sieve, clean the raw materials. Next, they roast, chop, grind or process them on site.
Their coconut and related ingredients are sourced from suppliers in the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In comparison, the PETA investigations were based on coconut plantations in Thailand.
We received the following statements from our UK supplier:
“We are keen to source our coconut and fruit from ethical sources. Agents, growers and processors that treat their labour force with respect and dignity. As such, in the harvest and processing of coconuts, the skill and experience of human beings are utilized. No monkeys or other animals are harmed or exploited in such a harvest. We regularly review with our suppliers to ensure they comply with our and that of our clients’ expectations.”
Our UK supplier also received this statement from their suppliers in the country of origin:
“Our farmers have no interest in using monkeys for harvesting coconuts. They harvest manually using a bamboo pole with a sharpened sickle. Manual harvesting means that only the mature coconuts, which meet our strict quality standards, will be harvested. Furthermore, our internal field inspectors visit the coconut farms twice per year.”
Purition sources coconuts ethically
We source the coconuts for both our original and vegan blends ethically, without the use of monkeys.
Moving forward, we continue to take full responsibility for considering the health, safety and environmental standards when we select our suppliers. Purition is committed to ensuring that all ingredients are sourced responsibly, safely and ethically.