Mzuzu Coffee Planters Co-operative Union has this year again scoped first position as the best coffee producer in Malawi.
Eighteen Coffee growers took part in the competition with Mzuzu Coffee scoping two awards for position one and three, while Sable Farming came second.
Speaking after presenting the awards, Chairperson for Coffee Association of Malawi (CAMAL), Robin Saunders commended coffee producers in the country for their commitment in promoting the crop especially Mzuzu Coffee Co-operative for branding Malawi coffee on the international market.
He said the awards were important as they promote production of quality coffee thereby enabling farmers to maintain the international standards.
Saunders said due to climate change, Malawi was having challenges producing more coffee as the crop requires more water and for the marketing point of view it needed to maintain quality so that it competes on the market and get better prices.
“Most producers here rely much on irrigation and this is having a negative impact on production, we have a vast market for coffee in London, Japan, German, Indonesia, Korea and the USA due to our quality conscious and I believe these awards will help us maintain that,” explained Sainders.
Mzuzu Coffee Planters cooperatives Union Limited Quality and Trading Executive Christopher Gondwe said the cooperative was honoured to have been recognized as the best coffee producer in the country.
“This is good news, we are happy that we are putting Malawi on the map and advancing the economy of the country by bringing forex in the country,” said Gondwe.
He explained that the cooperative’s success comes due to its quality conscious and frequent training of farmers on quality control.
Gondwe said the cooperative was now working on ways to beef up production so that they meet the demands.
“Currently we are producing four hundred metric tonnes but we intent to improve and start producing over a million metric tonnes in five years time because we have a huge market out there,” said Gondwe while disclosing that the cooperative was instituting a coffee estate at Usingini in Nkhata-bay to be able to produce more.
The Taste of Harvest event was judged using strict protocols and standards as set out by the Coffee Quality Institute and the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
The five winning coffees will be dispatched to the African Fine Coffees Association in Uganda, where they will be show-cased at the African Fine Coffee Association Conference and Exhibition in Zanzibar in February 2016 along-side the best African Coffees.
In addition, the top five coffees will also be show-cased in America at the Specialty Coffee Association of America coffee conference; in Europe at the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and in Asia at the Specialty Coffee Association of Japan conference.
In addition to the competition, CAMAL in partnership with Africa Fine Coffee Association also trains farmers to equip them with skills that will enable them continue to develop expertise in the Malawi coffee industry.