By Mary-Ruth Low
Disclaimer: We would like to emphasize that credit for the cessation of sales of kopi luwak at the aforementioned coffee establishments are due to the excellent work of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA Asia), and brought to attention by the Shin Min Daily News reporter.
Starting a campaign is no easy task and many a time, news surrounding the cause in question tends to be on the less-than-cheerful side. Once in a while, however, we hear stories that inspire and encourage one to press on and spread the word. In our case, it was the news that two prominent coffee retailers—OWL Café and 10 Scotts @Grand Hyatt—had decided to pull kopi luwak off their menu.
On the 25th of October 2013, Shin Min Daily News《新明日报》reported that both OWL Café and 10 Scotts @Grand Hyatt had stopped sales of kopi luwak. This piece of news was received with many cheers! Good job, OWL Café and 10 Scotts! Prior to this, OWL Café had sold ‘100% Authentic Kopi Luwak’ ($18.90) as its signature coffee. At 10 Scotts, their listing of kopi luwak ($68) was accompanied by a detailed description of its history and origins.
According to the article, all restaurants and cafés in Grand Hyatt no longer serve kopi luwak as they value sustainability and food responsibility. OWL Café had decided to stop serving it altogether after discussion at the managerial level. We hope this will send a message to other coffee retailers in rethinking their values and sustainability practices in serving this particular beverage.
A member of our team recently popped in to OWL Café for a bite and was greeted by the following sticker upon opening the menu:
Over at 10 Scotts, Mr. Guillaume Delemarle, Director of Food & Beverage, Grand Hyatt Singapore had this to say:
“We stopped serving Kopi Luwak in the hotel after we learned about the cruelty associated with using civets for the production of this specialty coffee.
Our food philosophy within Hyatt focuses on responsible and sustainable food options for guests which are good for the communities, environment and people. Therefore we discussed the background of civet coffee internally and decided commonly to remove this from the menu.”
We are in the midst of writing to local cafés and suppliers to raise awareness of the cruelty behind kopi luwak as well as encourage them to pass on the message to their patrons. One way you can help would be let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you chance upon a café or an advertisement promoting kopi luwak. Even better yet, talk to the managers of the café and ask if they know how kopi luwak is produced. If they are willing to find out more, refer them to this website! With the continued engagement with stakeholders and increasing awareness of the treatment of luwaks, we hope for more good news soon. Indeed, it is not too idealistic to hope that we can eventually quell kopi luwak demand and ultimately end local kopi luwak sales.
Let’s make this work! Find out how you can help at https://projectluwaksg.wordpress.com/support/.