Danish aid makes Vietnamese farmers able to produce civet coffee

Civet coffee is one of the most expensive coffees, original only produced in Sumatra, Indonesia, where it is known as Kopi Luvak. Now Kien Cuong Co. Ltd, with support from the Danida-funded Business Sector Programme, launches a scientific civet breeding farm in Buon Ma Thuot, Dak Lak province. The civet kittens are bred for distribution to small farmers for production of value-added civet coffee beans.

Civet coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries eaten by the Asian Palm Civet. In its stomach, the digestive enzymes seep into the beans resulting in shorter peptides and more free amino acids and, eventually, an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness than “regular” coffee.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Kien Cuong, Mrs. Lis Rasmussen Rosenholm, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Denmark, congratulated the company for introducing this interesting and unique opportunity for small coffee farmers to enter the export market of civet coffee at an attractive price of over USD 500 per kilogram, that can translate into over USD 30 per cup of coffee in cities like London, New York etc.

Although Dak Lak produces more than 400,000 tons of coffee beans per year with total export value of almost 600 million USD, very little is sold at a premium price. Most of the exported coffee suffers from an average price discount of 20-25% compared to world market prices. With over 85% of the Vietnamese coffee exports coming from small farmers and the cyclical nature of coffee prices, it is necessary to protect the farmers from the risk of losses, by giving them opportunities such as production of high-return civet coffee.

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