On Monday evening the main BBC London News carried a short report that gave me particular pleasure: "Harrods have withdrawn Wahana Estate Kopi Luwak from sale," the presenter said, and went on to describe how a BBC undercover investigative report last month had exposed the fact that Sumatran estate housed caged luwaks, casting serious doubts on their claim that their kopi luwak was produced from wild animals. Harrods had initially said they had every confidence in their supplier's assurance that their coffee was wild. And now suddenly they'd changed their minds.
I was thrilled. My one-man-and-his-laptop Facebook campaign (Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap!) had forced the UK's foremost retailer to capitulate. Only the week before they had adamantly maintained that they had no plans to withdraw their Wahana kopi luwak from sale. Then two things happened - one was my last blog here (Harrods! Cut the Crap) in which I revealed that their exclusive importer had told me that they had withdrawn the coffee from sale 'pending investigations'. The other was that the online petition I had set up only ten days previously reached 50,000 signatures over the weekend.
Whatever the cause, Harrods did a complete U-turn - nothing short of a minor miracle, I thought. But there was more to come: on Tuesday evening the Evening Standard reported "Harrods today called for a curb on the unethical production of the world's most expensive coffee because of fears over animal cruelty. The store urged the Indonesian government to back a 'stamp of authenticity' to prevent Kopi Luwak coffee being made using caged animals."
A major pillar of my campaign has been that consumers should boycott all kopi luwak, regardless of claims that it was 'wild' or otherwise, until such time as an independent third-party certification scheme for genuine wild kopi luwak is set up. So this latest Harrods' announcement was music to my ears. If a company of Harrods international profile and clout is publically calling for a scheme of this sort too, my challenge to get backing for one should become much easier.
As I write, I'm waiting for details of their announcement to be sent to me. But on the face of it, in the week since I last posted here, my campaign has not only taken a notable scalp, but the scalpee has decided to become a fellow traveler with me too.