Summary

  • Headquarters location: Mzuzu

  • Region: Northern and Central mountainous parts of Malawi

  • Founded: 2007

  • Producers: 2,500-3,000 smallholder farmers in 6 primary societies; 30% of the board are women; Women's Coffee available.

  • Post-harvest process: Fully Washed from 57 central washing stations serving all farmers. Central cupping laboratory and trained cuppers

  • Certifications: Fairtrade, Organic, 4C

  • Varieties: Nyika, Geisha, Catimor 129. Several local varieties

  • Soil types: Clay soil, Loamy soil

  • Harvest time: May to October

  • Elevation: 1300 — 2000

  • Website: Mzuzu Coffee Planters Co-operative Union website

More about Mzuzu Coffee Planters Co-operative Union

Mzuzu Coffee Planters Co-operative Union

  • To find out all about Mzuzu, visit their website www.mzuzucoffee.org; twitter @mzuzucoffee
  • Click to download Mzuzu information sheet.
  • In October 2016, sucessfully sold microlots on the first ever online Taste of Harvest Bean Auction Sale.
  • Mzuzu’s farmers produce Washed Arabica, including the rare Geisha variety, on their family farms in the majestic Misuku Hills of Malawi, which border Tanzania. Mzuzu’s coffee, which is processed to the highest standards at village washing stations and then at a central hulling and sorting plant, wins prizes each year in the national cupping competition.
  • One of JMI’s founder members, Mzuzu has Fairtrade certification and should begin to gain organic certification from 2014. Mzuzu is keen for women to play an increasingly important role within the co-operative, female membership is currently around twenty per cent and they are aiming to increase this to fifty per cent over the next five years.

Diversification and sustainability for Mzuzu’s farmers

  • Many of Mzuzu’s farmers are involved in a sustainable agriculture pilot. They are moving away from the traditional mono-crop system to shade-grown coffee produced on terraces, which prevent soil erosion, and learning how to make organic fertilisers.
  • Farmers are diversifying into honey. It is sold locally, providing an additional income, and the bees pollinate the plants. Nitrogen-rich beans are intercropped with coffee, improving the soil fertility and family diets.

Since 2011, Mzuzu has planted 300,000 coffee trees on 75
hectares of land owned by the cooperative union: Usingini
farm. The intention is to plant a total of 1,000,000 coffee trees
in the coming years on 250 hectares. They are
investing in irrigation, coffee processing, horticulture,
housing, school and health facilities. The farm will be a
demonstration plot for sustainable coffee farming and
provide employment for up to 500 people. It is an
important part of Mzuzu’s vision to invest in improving their
land and communities.

  • Mzuzu began its chain of coffee shop, or ‘coffee dens’ as they are known nationally, with skilled baristas to showcase their coffee in the local community. The coffee shop is the first to offer free wi-fi in Malawi and has been a big success.

Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, PO Box 20133, Mzuzu, Malawi. Tel: +265 1 320 899, Fax: +256 1 320 902. Email: mzuzucoffee@mzuzucoffee.org

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