About 20 kilometres north west of the city of Mbeya, two branches of the East African Rift – the Gregory and the Albertine Rifts meet and form the Mbeya Range. The rifts started to develop and were accompanied by strong volcanic activities. About 8 million years later, the slopes of Mbeya Peak, which culminates at 2.839 meters, and the surrounding mountain ranges still offer a very rich and fertile soil to the local population.
The estate has moved from hand to hand over the years before being purchased in 1994 by Clemens and Stella Maier. 27 years later, Clemens, Stella and their son Paul still run the estate and employ 26 people all year round, 150 during peak season.
Clemens and his family have a very community-oriented vision for their estate and believe that producing high quality coffee will not only help their employees improve their living standard, but give perspective to the whole community. Lunji Farm cultivates coffee following sustainable practices like mulching and introducing beneficial insects to minimise the use of pesticides and fertilisers. While the estate covers 275 hectares, coffee – which grows under shade trees – takes only 92 hectares. More than 180 hectares are reserved to forest, which feeds the water reservoirs, fosters biodi-versity and support natural soil-regeneration.