KOPI LUWAK: CUT THE CRAP!
Introduction……………………………………………………………………………. Pg 2-3
What is Kopi Luwak?................................................................... Pg 4-5
Why should you care?
About Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap!............................................... Pg 7-8
What you can do…………………………………………………………………….. Pg 9-11
Kopi Luwak: Claims and Facts…………………………………………………. Pg 12-13
Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! Name and Shame List…………………… Pg 14-18
A: Companies / Organisations that are directly involved in the trade in kopi luwak B: Companies who are knowingly or unknowingly dealing with companies active in the luwak trade.
Further Information………………………………………………………. ………. Pg 19
1. Introduction My name is Tony Wild, and this photo shows the sad truth behind kopi luwak, the ultimate bling coffee, the type sold around the world at top stores like Harrods. Why should I care? Because I inadvertently created this sordid and unscrupulous industry: now I want to see it ended. I saw caged creatures much like this myself in Sumatra, Indonesia, during the BBC investigation that I joined into this cruel animal sweatshop trade.
Here I am at a small luwak farm with BBC investigative reporter and the programâ€™s presenter, Chris Rogers.
ÂŠ Tony Dolce
The BBC World News programme "Exposing Coffee's Animal Cruelty" first airs in the 'Our World' slot on Friday 13th September at 23.30 GMT. I was very much involved in the research and the undercover investigation, and appear in the programme being interviewed in Sumatra. UK: 23:30 to 00.30 on Saturday 14th, UK time. It will be available to view on BBC iPlayer in the UK shortly after that, and unless you have satellite or cable with BBC World News, iPlayer will be your best option to see it in the UK. ELSEWHERE: The programme is scheduled to repeat on BBC World News around 2
the world many times over the weekend - consult your region's schedule on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldnews/programmes/schedules/2013/09/14. It'll also be possible to play the programme on the "Our World" web page at some stage very soon. That should work wherever you are.
2. What exactly is Kopi Luwak? Genuine Indonesian kopi luwak is collected from the droppings of a wild cat-like animal called the luwak (the common palm civet, Paraxorus Hermaphroditus), a shy, solitary nocturnal forest animal that freely prowls nearby coffee plantations at night in the harvest season, eating the choicest ripe coffee cherries. It can't digest the stones (i.e. the coffee bean) of the cherry, so craps them out along with the rest of its droppings.
A wild luwak eating the cherries of a coffee tree
The beans are collected by farm workers. Cleaned and washed, they acquire a unique and highly prized taste from their passage through the luwak's digestive tract and the anal scent glands they use for marking their territory. Being wild, hard to collect, variable in age and quality, and very rare, kopi luwak is not a commercially viable crop, but just an interesting coffee curiosity. Nowadays, it is practically impossible to find genuine wild kopi luwak â€“ the only way to guarantee that would be to actually follow a luwak around all night, one experienced coffee trader told me. Instead, wild luwaks are trapped and caged in cramped prisoncamp conditions and force-fed coffee cherries: the resultant crap collects in trays below their cages, and the undigested beans are then cleaned and processed. So kopi luwak is no longer wild: it's industrialised. Sounds disgusting? It is. The naturally shy and solitary creatures suffer greatly from the stress of being caged in proximity to other luwaks, and the unnatural emphasis on coffee cherries in their
ÂŠ Nicky Loh/Getty Images for WSPA: Caged luwaks in a battery kopi luwak farm.
diet causes other health problems too; they fight among themselves, gnaw off their own legs, start passing blood in their scats, and frequently die. Wild palm civets â€“ the trapping of which is supposed to be strictly controlled in Indonesia â€“ are caught by poachers, caged and force-fed coffee cherries in order to crap out the beans for the pleasure of the thousands who have been conned into buying this 'incredibly rare' and very expensive 'luxury' coffee. Worse still, the profits in kopi luwak farming are so high that it has spread to other countries where the luwak found. Vietnam, the Philippines, China and India all now boast kopi luwak production too.
3. Why should you care? So there you are happily drinking a latte in your local coffee shop that doesn't sell kopi luwak, so they tell you. But what if the some of the coffee blend used in your latte came from an Indonesian plantation that also keeps caged luwaks as a nice little earner on the side? What if the exporter does a flourishing trade in kopi luwak alongside his standard business? What if the importer does likewise? What if the roaster from whom your local coffee shop buys their coffee profits from the sale of kopi luwak even if your shop doesn't buy it? That's why it's important that you ask this question: unbeknown to me, is my coffee tainted with the stench of animal cruelty?
4. About Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! is a UK-based social media campaign designed to create sufficient weight of public opinion to lead to the ban on the sale of kopi luwak throughout the world. The campaign targets everyone one involved with the coffee trade, from those who buy a cappuccino on the way to work all the way back to the coffee estate or plantation. Above all, Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! is promoting awareness: we believe that if consumers know the truth about the trade, they will probably never buy kopi luwak / boast about it / joke about it or drink it. And certainly no-one would pay the super-premium prices that are demanded for it, prices that reflect the supposed 'scarcity' of the coffee and the 'difficulty' collecting it... Why is this campaign being run from my Facebook page and Twitter feed? Because I'm the coffee expert who accidently first 'invented' the kopi luwak trade, and I feel responsible for what has subsequently happened. I first read a description of kopi luwak buried in a short paragraph in a 1981 copy of National Geographic Magazine. Ten years later, in 1991, as Coffee Director of Taylors of Harrogate, I was the first person to import kopi luwak into the West â€“ a measly kilo. I didn't sell it through the company, but thought, perhaps naively, that its quirky, faintly off-putting origins from a wild animal roaming Indonesian coffee estates might be of interest to the local newspaper and radio in Yorkshire where the company was based. It proved to be so much bigger than that â€“ national news, TV and radio fell over themselves to cover it. Over the years, the story has gone from strength to strength: kopi luwak has gone global. As well as being stocked by every aspiring speciality retailer, it has appeared on CNN News, Oprah, and The Bucket List (a Hollywood film with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, no less). But although it's still reported exactly as if it was the same quirky story involving a wild animal's digestive habits, it's now in fact a multi-million dollar operation involving caged luwaks in cramped and often distressing 'battery' farm conditions being force-fed coffee cherries to produce the 'precious' poop." I feel very troubled at the thought of the animal suffering that I created with this craze, and also indignant that the public are being fooled into thinking they are buying genuine wild kopi luwak. I inadvertently created this sordid and unscrupulous industry: now I want to curb it.
Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! campaign has been joined by Mike Riley of Falcon Speciality Coffee, a reputed UK based green coffee merchant. Mike was working with Tony Wild at Taylors of Harrogate at the time Tony discovered kopi luwak, and was deeply involved in the initial flurry of publicity. Like Tony, he is disturbed by what has become of a once charming, off-beat coffee story. Mike writes: "As someone actively working in the coffee trade, I'm ashamed of the misselling of kopi luwak from caged animals, and I want to see the trade banned. Over recent years the coffee business has become a well-regulated and responsible regarding environmental and welfare issues, so it's a blot on the trade's reputation that kopi luwak continues to grow and grow."
Campaigning journalist Joanna Blythman has also joined Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! She writes: "I was the first journalist to taste and report on kopi luwak back in 1991 when Tony bought that kilo, and I'm horrified to hear how cruel the industry has become as it boomed. I fully support the aims of this campaign."
5. What you can do. Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! asks you to do nothing more than 'like' this campaign manifesto, and to pledge to ask questions, depending on your place in the coffee trade, of those from whom you buy your coffee. If, like millions of people, you are a consumer of coffee, by 'liking' this page, you'll pledge to ask questions of your coffee retailer/coffee bar to ensure that in no way are they involved in this trade. If you are a coffee trader, you'll do the same of your suppliers. You're not being asked to give us money: this campaign is designed to raise awareness throughout the coffee supply chain, so that ultimately the producers of kopi luwak realise that it'll cost them more in lost business to remain in the kopi luwak trade than it will cost them to renounce it. PLEDGES By 'liking' this Facebook campaign we are pledging as follows: Consumer Pledge: Now I know that there is cruel forced animal labour in one part of the coffee trade: 1. I will never consider buying any of Kopi Luwak. 2. I deplore anyone buying this designer coffee, knowing the animal cruelty that lies behind it. 3. If I see it on sale in retail, or on the web, I will make my views known and refer the sellers to the Cut The Crap campaign site. 4. As a regular purchaser of coffee, I will ask my retailer /coffee shop /roaster /brand owner Head Office whether they purchase Indonesian coffee from any of the exporters or plantations listed on this site, and ask whether they would be willing to take positive action to urge the supply chain to desist from producing designer coffee so cruelly, on notice that if the practice is not proven to have stopped within 12 months, they will cease to buy any coffees whatsoever from that exporter/plantation. 5. I will alert my local media to the presence of a retailer of kopi luwak in my area, and make them aware of the Cut the Crap campaign.
The Roasters/ Traders pledge: 1. We will never consider selling Kopi Luwak, produced by using the forced labour of caged wild civets. Either: 2a We do not buy any coffees from the exporters/plantations on the Cut The Crap name and shame list. Or 2b We do buy coffee from one or more exporters/plantations on the list, but we have put them on 12 monthsâ€™ notice to prove they have stopped the practice of producing/dealing in Kopi Luwak or we will cease to trade with them. 3. We have notified the certification bodies that we are signed up to that we require them to audit the cessation of the practice of making and selling designer coffee using caged wild civets.
Name and Shame List Pledge Our company has found itself named on the Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! Name and Shame list. A: We are a company that buys and sells kopi luwak. 1. We will immediately cease selling kopi luwak, and remove any references to it in our sales and marketing material, websites etc. as soon as possible, but no later than three months from this pledge. 2. We will immediately write to our supplier(s) bringing the Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! campaign to their attention and affirming that we will no longer be buying kopi luwak from them, and giving them 12 monthsâ€™ notice that if they continue to be involved in the kopi luwak trade we will cease to buy any other coffee from them too. A copy of this letter will be sent to Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! 3. Upon receipt of a copy of this letter, Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! undertake to move our company into the 'Companies who have signed the Pledge' list. 10
4. We recognise that if we are subsequently proved to have sold kopi luwak after the date of 'liking' this campaign, or to have continued to buy kopi luwak from our supplier(s), our company's name will be re-added to the Name and Shame list for the duration of the campaign. B: We are a company that produces kopi luwak 1. We recognise that the trade in kopi luwak is unsustainable in the light of the revelations of the BBC report and undertake to end our involvement in it within the next 12 months. 2. We undertake to ensure that all luwaks used in our production facilities are returned to the wild with regard to animal welfare best practice. Guidance on this matter can be found on the website of the WSPA. C: We are a company that is not producing or trading in kopi dealings with companies that are.
1. We will 'like' the campaign and immediately write to our supplier(s) bringing the Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! campaign to their attention and giving them 12 monthsâ€™ notice that if they continue to be involved in the kopi luwak trade we will cease to buy any coffee from them. A copy of this letter will be sent to Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! 3. Upon receipt of a copy of this letter, Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! undertake to move our company into the 'Companies who have signed the Pledge' list. 4. We recognise that if we are subsequently proved to have had dealings with companies still selling kopi luwak twelve months after the date of 'liking' this campaign despite our having given notice to the companies in question, our company's name will be re-added to the Name and Shame list for the duration of the campaign. COMPANIES THAT HAVE SIGNED THE PLEDGE:
6. Kopi Luwak: Claims & Facts
CLAIM: "Our kopi luwak is certified 100% wild." FACT: There is no independent certification body for wild kopi luwak. Any such certificate is issued by the plantation, shipper or retailer itself, and, as such, is meaningless. Other certificates may contain an assurance that the kopi luwak does come from a certain plantation or district. This gives no guarantee that the kopi luwak is wild. CLAIM: "Only about 500 kilos of this coffee are collected per year." (Quoted from Edible, sold through Harvey Nichols, UK) FACT: There is no reliable evidence of how much genuine kopi luwak is produced a year. In any case it is considered uncommercial by the trade, as it is difficult to collect and variable in age and quality, and there is no way of independently guaranteeing that it is wild. The frequently quoted figure of 500 kg is the coffee trade's way of suggesting extreme rarity to justify the high price. One single Sumatran kopi luwak farm claims to produce seven tons of the coffee a year from 240 caged luwaks. The UK alone accounts for as much as two tons of global kopi luwak sales, and it is a small market compared to the rest of Europe, the USA and Far East. That 500 kilos stretches a long way..! CLAIM: "Our coffee is ethically sourced." FACT: Oh yeah? Says who? (see Certification, above) CLAIM: "Our luwaks are allowed to range freely" FACT: Luwaks are wild animals, not chickens. So how come they're 'your' luwaks? And it still doesn't mean you can sell them as wild. While filming our report I visited the kopi luwak farm of the 'Black Luwak' brand where over a hundred luwaks were kept in a pen of about an acre in size, containing coffee trees and shelters. In a cage by the side of the pen was one luwak in extreme distress - its foot had been bitten off in a fight. © Tony Wild - Injured luwak on a freerange coffee farm
"Our luwaks are well-looked after"
FACT: How do you look after a wild animal, please? CLAIM:
Selling kopi luwak isn't illegal.
FACT: Caveat, vendor! Vendors, beware! There is a strong argument to say, in the UK at least, that kopi luwak is a luxury product, and the law in that case is pretty clear that it is your responsibility to make sure that you have done your best to ensure that the claims you make about your product are true. As the BBC report makes clear, and this campaign asserts, it is impossible to be certain that the kopi luwak you are selling comes from completely wild luwaks, and almost certain that it doesn't. And now that the issue is out in the open, ignorance is no defense. Is selling kopi luwak really a risk you want to keep taking? CLAIM: Keeping luwaks in cages isn't illegal in Indonesia. FACT: That's right, it isn't. But trapping luwaks in the wild is supposed to be tightly controlled by government quotas which are, sadly, widely ignored. CLAIM: There is no such thing as ethically sourced kopi luwak. FACT: At this moment somewhere out there a wild luwak is happily eating a ripe coffee cherry, and later a plantation worker will collect the beans in its crap. It happens: the problem is that it is currently impossible to certify it is the genuine article.
7. Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! Name and Shame List A: Companies / Organisations that are directly involved in the trade in kopi luwak. The Government of Indonesia The Government owns and manages four large coffee plantations in East Java: Kayumas, Jampit, Pancoer and Blawan. Each of these plantations has caged luwaks and offers kopi luwak to the trade through: Perkebunan Nusantara XII PT. (PT.PN XII) email@example.com Speciality Coffee Association Europe (SCAE) This Association is rumoured to have resisted pressure to speak out against the kopi luwak trade, unlike their counterpart in the USA, the SCAA whose president has been quoted as saying that the kopi luwak trade is 'from arseholes for arseholes'. Many companies dealing in kopi luwak in Europe are members of the SCAE, and some of their CEOs are past presidents of the organisation (Colin Smith of Smiths UK, Marc Kaeperli of Blaser Trading, Switzerland) UTZ Certification Scheme UTZ have provided their valued certification to Jampit and Blawan coffee estates (see above) and are assessing the Wahana Estate (the main focus of the BBC report) for certification. Sari Makmur PT Indonesia's largest coffee exporter offers kopi luwak and is closely involved in the trade in northern Sumatra. As the BBC report makes clear, it has misled its clients and the BBC's undercover reporters when they have visited their Wahana estate by repeatedly assuring them that there are no caged animals used in production, when in fact there were and (to date) still are.
Coffindo PT This company told us that they sold 150 kg of kopi luwak to FA Coffee UK each year, Coffindo were named by a number of their suppliers as one of the prime purchasers of kopi luwak from caged sources in the Takengon area. They also have a kopi luwak brand of roasted coffee. Their chairman and principle owner, Irfan Anwar, is current Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (AICE). PT Menacom Black Civet A kopi luwak brand produced on a farm near Sidi Kalang, Indonesia. PT Indokom Citrapersada (supplies Blaser Trading with Kayumas estate kopi luwak) PT.Bintang Tunggal Sejati, Indonesia Litha & Co, Macassar, Indonesia PT.Winajayaint, Indonesia ABS Bote Central, Philippines
InterAmerican London and Hamburg, Attaka and Tokyo : http://www.iaccoffee.co.uk/aboutus Blaser Trading, Switzerland (Supplied by Indokom with Kayumas Estate, Java) : http://www.blasertrading.ch/index.cfm?s=shop_karte&action=hm25&hmID =25&um1ID=42&contentID=13&z=2&karteID=10
FA Coffee supplied by PT Coffindo (above) : http://www.facoffee.co.uk/our-coffee.html 15
Smiths Coffee : http://www.smithscoffee.co.uk/Products/productLister.aspx?cid=28&cname =Speciality+Coffees Sea Island Coffee (Sells a range of different kopi luwaks) : http://www.seaislandcoffee.com/coffee/civet-cat-kopi-luwak-coffeecollection.html Edible - Admitted to selling over a tonne of kopi luwak annually. Their website currently claims that the total global production of kopi luwak annually is 500 kilos, despite what they buy and sell themselves. Their luwak coffee is sold be Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and online : http://edible-shop.com/shop/herbivore/civet-coffee Firebox : www.firebox.com http://www.firebox.com/product/1077/Civet-CoffeeKopi-Luwak Finest Coffee: http://www.finestcoffee.co.uk/product/indonesian-kopi-luwak-100certified-coffee-SC0005.html DJ Miles : http://www.djmiles.co.uk/news.asp?SeriesID=4&TextID=2 Coffee Direct : http://www.coffee-direct.co.uk/kopi-luak.htm The Love of Coffee : http://www.theloveofcoffee.co.uk/kopi-luwak-civet-cat-coffee-543-p.asp Urban Coffee Company : http://www.urbancoffee.co.uk/2011/03/kopi-luwak/ 16
Thomsons Coffee : http://www.thomsonscoffee.com/coffee/thomsons-coffees/exquisitecollection.html Harvey Nichols : http://www.harveynichols.com/s346139-edible-civet-coffee-ground.html Coffees of the World Weingeist Whittard Harrods Selfridges
B: Companies who are knowingly or unknowingly dealing with companies active in the luwak trade. Union Coffee Taylors of Harrogate (use coffees from Perkebunan Nusantara XII PT in Hot Java blend) NOTE: Every effort has been made to ensure that the above listing correctly identifies companies involved in the kopi luwak trade or institutions endorsing it, or companies that may knowingly or unknowingly be trading with companies involved in the trade at the time of writing. If your company has been mistakenly included in this list, please notify us on firstname.lastname@example.org immediately, supplying appropriate assurances, and the appropriate action will be taken. 'Liking' the pledge will be the simplest way of dealing with the situation, but if your company has reasons for not wanting to endorse our campaign, please lay them out in clear terms to help with our evaluation. It is absolutely not our intention to vilify the innocent, nor to railroad well-intentioned companies into agreeing with our terms. We'll listen to you. 8. Further Information
International Co-ordinators Urgently Needed! Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap are keen to identify coffee companies in countries other than the UK that agree with our stance and are prepared to act as co-ordinators for the campaign in other countries. They will be responsible for identifying companies for the compilation and maintenance of their national Name and Shame list and building consumer pressure through press, radio, TV and social media. If you're interested, please contact email@example.com with your company CV and outline proposals for what you would plan to do. Wildlife Issues The Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap campaign has partnered with the World Protection Society for Animals (WSPA) who are able to provide in-depth expert knowledge of the complex wildlife issues surrounding kopi luwak. They are running their own campaign to deal with the problem:
Here are few documents that may be of immediate interest. Any other enquiries can be addressed to: Katharine Mansell KatharineMansell@wspa.org.uk https://www.dropbox.com/sh/66turi0r7tlqnqg/KSWwHeZUpG
Published on Apr 6, 2014