What You Need to Know about Civet Coffee

Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, has become an international sensation. This exotic coffee sells for $30-$100 per cup and $100-$600 per pound. Retailers of this coffee market it as a rare product sourced from wild civets’ feces. They claim that suppliers need to forage for the partially digested coffee beans in the wild, which only allows 1000 lbs of kopi luwak to be produced each year, justifying the high price. This may have been how the coffee was originally sourced, but due to the increasing international demand, this story is now far from the truth. In order to satisfy the global demand, “civet poo coffee” is rarely sourced from the wild; it has become an industrialized product. Wild civets are instead held captive and force-fed coffee cherries to produce an estimated 500 tons of this “farmed” product annually.

The global Kopi Luwak market drives the illegal and inhumane civet trade.  In the wild, civets are solitary and nocturnal omnivores. Their diets consist of insects and fruit, including coffee cherries. In order to satisfy the demand, suppliers of Kopi Luwak capture civets from the wild and keep them in cramped cages, feeding them almost exclusively coffee cherries. The civets become very distressed from being caged in close proximity to other civets. The extreme stress and unhealthy diet leads to severe health issues and the caged animals frequently die. 

Wildlife Alliance has rescued over 200 civets from the illegal wildlife trade. However, the international demand remains high and we are seeing civets increasingly disappear from the wild. With your help, we can save these animals before it’s too late. Make a gift to our Help Save Civets from the Cruel Coffee Trade project on GlobalGiving today. We are only $1,450 away from our goal, and your gift will go towards the rescue of trafficked animals and the investigation of these illegal trade networks. You can also make a difference by sharing the truth behind civet coffee on social media and ensuring that your local coffee shop does not support this cruel trade.