Thamoo Poovaiah, managing partner of Coorg Consolidated Commodities, has alleged that vested interests have prevailed upon the Coffee Board to foist a false case against him. “I have not violated the wildlife Act. In case I have done so, it is for the forest department to initiate action against me,” he added.
Civet coffee, also known as Kopi luwak, is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Civet coffee is partially digested coffee cherries, eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Fermentation occurs as the cherries pass through a civet’s intestines, and after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are collected.
The Coffee Board issued notice to Coorg Consolidated Commodities regarding what it calls ‘unauthorised sale of Civet Coffee’. The notice has been issued by Deputy Director, Extension, Coffee Board. The Board in its complaint mentions that a well-known animal rights activist has alleged that worldwide, Civet Cats are confined and force-fed coffee cherries for them to produce poop.
It is learnt that Madikeri Rural Police, armed with a search warrant issued by a Madikeri Court, conducted an inspection of Poovaiah’s estate near Kadagadalu along with Coffee Board and forest officials.
Speaking to www.coorgnews.in news portal, Poovaiah alleged that the whole thing against him was masterminded by a couple running a private sanctuary in Kodagu. “I had tried to expose the couple who had illegally taken possession of hundreds of acres of land for their private sanctuary. Now they are using their deep pockets and the clout they enjoy in Delhi to get back at me. I am prepared to provide all information regarding the sourcing of civet coffee for which I have paid through cheques.”
The Coffee Board should stay away from such controversies and the matter should be left to the law enforcing agencies.