From Pest to Profit - The Surprising Goldmine of Civet Coffee in the Philippines

From Pest to Profit - The Surprising Goldmine of Civet Coffee in the Philippines

Philippine farmers once hunted civets for eating their coffee beans, but they discovered that the animals' droppings were worth a fortune. Civet coffee, made from beans excreted by the civet, has a unique flavor due to the animal’s digestive process. The enzymes and acids in the civet's stomach remove the beans' bitterness and impart a distinctive fruity aroma. This coffee is highly sought after, fetching high prices locally and internationally. Farmers like Rustico Montenegro now collect and clean these beans, earning significantly more than from regular coffee. At peak season, Montenegro and his wife earn up to $230 a day, a substantial income in a country where many live on a dollar a day. However, the off-season sees a significant drop in their earnings. Vie and Basil Reyes, prominent exporters, emphasize the importance of protecting wild civets amid a trend of caging the animals to boost production. This method is raising ethical concerns both in the Philippines and Indonesia.

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