On the 770-hectare Mt. Sunzu Coffee Estate, we will cultivate high-quality Arabica coffee. On 300 hectares we work hand in hand with nature, use best agricultural practices, promote high biodiversity and the application of beneficial organisms, and integrate compensation areas into the production. The 470 remaining hectares form an ecological compensation area for the preservation of the natural flora and fauna.
Thanks to our wide experience and education, we are well suited to this project. Our team consists of Luca Costa (MSc in Agriculture ETHZ) with experience in the implementation of commercial plantations in Africa and Yanik Costa (CFA, Master of Arts in Business Administration UZH) with experience in business planning. We are supported by a local manager with a MSc in Agriculture and experience in managing coffee plantations. Additionally, we benefit from a wealth of experience from our network of mentors working as entrepreneurs and in tropical agriculture.
Although Zambia exports a small volume of coffee, the country enjoys a reputation for specialty coffee. The region, where the Mt. Sunzu Coffee Estate is located, offers ideal conditions regarding soil quality, precipitation and temperature for the cultivation of coffee.
The Zambian government encourages investment in commercialized and scalable agriculture. The reason for this is that currently only 14% of Zambia’s agricultural land of approximately 42 million hectares is cultivated.
Additionally, Zambia seeks to reduce its dependency on the mining sector. Zambia holds about 40% of all water resources belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and owns therefore ample resources for the development of agricultural activities.
We plant different varieties of coffee under local leguminous trees. The coffee varieties used are resistant to the fungal diseases Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) and the Coffee Berry Disease (CBD), therefore protecting the environment by avoiding extensive use of phytosanitary measures. To increase biodiversity, we plant different types of local shade trees. Maintenance of the plantation includes work such as pruning, irrigation, fertilizing and plant sanitary measures. The maintenance of the coffee plant begins directly after planting and increases sharply with incipient production.
To ensure the highest quality of coffee, we will selectively harvest the coffee by hand using the picking method. This allows the harvest of exclusively ripe coffee cherries and ensures a maximum yield per hectare.
This distinction between commercial coffee and specialty coffee is crucial for the marketing and the pricing of coffee. There is a huge difference compared to the volatile and low pricing world coffee market and the stable and high pricing specialty coffee market.
Given the size of the Mt. Sunzu Coffee Estate and the applied production system, it is aimed to market a large part of the coffee directly in Switzerland. By selling to Swiss roasting companies, we have the opportunity to negotiate the price directly and move beyond the price ranges set by the world coffee market. We established contacts with various Swiss coffee traders and roaster, who already signaled interest in our coffee beans.