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Mzuzu Union
Mzuzu, Malawi


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  • AAA/AA

AAA/AA

Mzuzu Union farmers begin harvesting as early as 6 am, hand-picking the ripest cherries and transporting them by basket to the nearest washing station. Mzuzu’s washing stations are centrally located, usually no more than 5 kilometers from farms. Farmers depulp their cherries with technical assistance from Mzuzu Union trainers and staff. At the washing stations, the cherries undergo a fermentation process in which the mucilage is stripped from the bean. The coffee is then sun dried before being transported to the central dry-milling plant in Mzuzu. Upon parchment arrival, Mzuzu’s quality control tests the quality of the beans with strong focus on moisture content, parchment classification, green bean classification, roast assessment, and cup quality. Mzuzu also possesses two on-site roasters for local coffee consumption.

With grades of AAA and AA, this lot is a stellar example of some of Mzuzu's best coffees.

Location: Mzuzu, Malawi

Varieties: Catimor, Geisha, Agano, Nyika

Process: Washed

Altitude: 1,200 - 2,000 masl

Number of members: 3,000

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Reshaping specialty coffee in Malawi.

Mzuzu Union brought a new vision to the coffee industry of Malawi when they decided to form a cooperative union promoting smallholder coffee farming. To this day, 95% of coffee in Malawi is grown on large estates. Mzuzu Union, however, is made up of around 3,000 contributing member-owners, with each member managing, on average, about 0.4 hectares of land and producing 670 kg of cherry. The cooperative has been Fair Trade certified since 2009 and finds supplemental income with their affiliated businesses—a coffee shop, a guest house, and a four-story building with tenants representing a mix of shops and offices.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER

Reshaping specialty coffee in Malawi.

Mzuzu Union brought a new vision to the coffee industry of Malawi when they decided to form a cooperative union promoting smallholder coffee farming. To this day, 95% of coffee in Malawi is grown on large estates. Mzuzu Union, however, is made up of around 3,000 contributing member-owners, with each member managing, on average, about 0.4 hectares of land and producing 670 kg of cherry. The cooperative has been Fair Trade certified since 2009 and finds supplemental income with their affiliated businesses—a coffee shop, a guest house, and a four-story building with tenants representing a mix of shops and offices.
 

Malawi's only smallholder organization.

Established in 2007, Mzuzu Union is made up of six primary cooperatives: Misuku, Phoka and Viphya North, Nkhata Bay Highlands, South East Mzimba, and Ntchisi. With 3,000 members, Mzuzu acts as an umbrella organization in charge of sorting, processing, and marketing the green coffee on behalf of its member producers.

Through the formation of the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, thousands of members have been able to organize and achieve a higher price for their specialty coffee, as well as work together to strengthen their coffee communities.


Leading innovation.

Mzuzu is also an impressive example of 21st century farming, using a web-based tool called MCIS (Mzuzu Coffee Integrated System), which tracks data from washing stations and is accessible to the entire co-op.
 
In 2011, impressed with the Union’s success, the Malawian government mandated Mzuzu Union with the promotion of coffee production throughout the country. With the support of donors like USAID, Mzuzu was able to plant over 1 million organic coffee trees in Ncheu in 2012.

Malawi's only smallholder organization.

Established in 2007, Mzuzu Union is made up of six primary cooperatives: Misuku, Phoka and Viphya North, Nkhata Bay Highlands, South East Mzimba, and Ntchisi. With 3,000 members, Mzuzu acts as an umbrella organization in charge of sorting, processing, and marketing the green coffee on behalf of its member producers.

Through the formation of the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, thousands of members have been able to organize and achieve a higher price for their specialty coffee, as well as work together to strengthen their coffee communities.


Leading innovation.

Mzuzu is also an impressive example of 21st century farming, using a web-based tool called MCIS (Mzuzu Coffee Integrated System), which tracks data from washing stations and is accessible to the entire co-op.
 
In 2011, impressed with the Union’s success, the Malawian government mandated Mzuzu Union with the promotion of coffee production throughout the country. With the support of donors like USAID, Mzuzu was able to
plant over 1 million organic coffee trees in Ncheu in 2012.

Malawi's only smallholder organization.

Established in 2007, Mzuzu Union is made up of six primary cooperatives: Misuku, Phoka and Viphya North, Nkhata Bay Highlands, South East Mzimba, and Ntchisi. With 3,000 members, Mzuzu acts as an umbrella organization in charge of sorting, processing, and marketing the green coffee on behalf of its member producers.

Through the formation of the Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, thousands of members have been able to organize and achieve a higher price for their specialty coffee, as well as work together to strengthen their coffee communities.


Leading innovation.

Mzuzu is also an impressive example of 21st century farming, using a web-based tool called MCIS (Mzuzu Coffee Integrated System), which
tracks data from washing stations and is accessible to the entire co-op.
 
In 2011, impressed with the Union’s success, the Malawian government mandated Mzuzu Union with the promotion of coffee production throughout the country. With the support of donors like USAID, Mzuzu was able to
plant over 1 million organic coffee trees in Ncheu in 2012.

Mzuzu, Malawi

Mzuzu, Malawi

Mzuzu farms are located throughout northern Malawi, in an area of the country with rain-fed highland which is considered the most suitable for coffee-growth and production. The good quality of the soil, along with high levels of rain and mild climate, have helped foster the growth of the country’s best coffee.


Award-winning coffees from Africa's smallest coffee-producing country.

Malawi is one of the few origins where climate change has not had a large detrimental effect on farming. Production continues to grow and quality progressively gets better and better, with Mzuzu Union leading the pack.
 
In the 2017 Annual Taste of Harvest Competition held by the African Fine Coffee Association, Mzuzu Union snagged 8 out of the top 10 spots and was able to find high premiums at auction for their highest quality lots.

Award-winning coffees from Africa's smallest coffee-producing country.

Malawi is one of the few origins where climate change has not had a large detrimental effect on farming. Production continues to grow and quality progressively gets better and better, with Mzuzu Union leading the pack.
 
In the 2017 Annual Taste of Harvest Competition held by the African Fine Coffee Association, Mzuzu Union snagged 8 out of the top 10 spots and was able to find high premiums at auction
for their highest quality lots.