26 August 2010
After the Non-Fatwa, Kopi Luwak Farming...
I am not an economist. However, in my mind, it is pretty simple. If you increase supply without a commensurate increase in demand then it will not be too long before there is oversupply and downward pressure on the price of the product.
Anyways, the idea is that civets are going to be bred in captivity and then force-fed the coffee beans. This is supposedly a sure-fire money spinner as collectors of the valuable civet dung need go no further than scampering up and down under the civet cages. The image that comes to mind is egg farming; the rows upon rows of caged chickens popping out eggs.
It is interesting that the decision to start small-scale farming comes on the heels of the recent decision by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) not to issue a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from drinking the coffee. According to the MUI, Kopi Luwak is halal (permitted for consumption) if it has been thoroughly and properly washed. I wonder what the quality assurance procedure is on this "thorough" cleaning arrangement? After all, the whole point of Civet Coffee is that the beans are partially digested by the stomach enzymes of the civet.
The non-fatwa has inspired PT Perkebunan Nusantara XII to see an opportunity to ramp up production and presumably ratchet up profits into the bargain.
Kopi Luwak is an acquired taste, kind of like Durien (Duren), some people love it and some people hate it. Kopi Luwak is a nice coffee, but I have never been convinced that it was ever worth the price charged.