The Coffee Guide Network

    The Coffee Guide

    The Coffee Guide Network is a global community of coffee experts that creates, curates, and disseminates neutral, practical resources and knowledge for the coffee sector. 

    Hosted by the International Trade Centre under the Alliances for Action initiative

    Who We Are

    This pre-competitive network serves as a vehicle to promote collaboration and partnerships to address pressing coffee sector challenges. It was born out of the unique collaboration to co-create the International Trade Centre’s acclaimed publication, The Coffee Guide, 4th Edition, in a bid to take coffee sustainability off the page and into policy and action.
    The Coffee Guide Network exists to develop industry knowledge and make it accessible to all. We seek to evolve the coffee sector through collaboration across the value chain in partnership.
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    Our Goal

    Our goal is to produce practical resources that bridge information gaps for coffee sector professionals, policymakers, academia and consumers and to promote widespread sharing of these knowledge tools through co-creation. 



    Read The
    Coffee Guide

    4th Edition, an ITC publication


    Latest coffee data, trends and policy changes
    A summary of coffee’s sustainability framework 
    An explanation of the complex world of futures in trading
    The nuances of coffee quality from seed to cup
    A reference publication informed by industry experts
    A free resource in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Amharic


    The people
    behind the network

    In less than two years, the Coffee Guide Network has grown from 70 to over 154 engaged participants motivated to contribute their expertise toward building a more equitable, thriving, and sustainable coffee sector. These include:

    Coffee professionals from
    government agencies

    Private sector

    Traders and
    trade associations 

    Small producer organizations
    and associations

    Nonprofits and

    High caliber
    academic institutions


    They contribute through learning and research initiatives chosen by the network each year to inform and update the Coffee Guide content.

    What We Do

    Our working process

    We work through a simple, three-step process:

    1. COLLABORATE: by selecting research topics at network plenary meetings. These become working groups to deepen knowledge on the topic with topical experts and value chain actors outside the network as well.
    2. CO-CREATE: new, practical resources in a pre-competitive way, pooling data, information, case studies, and expertise from across the global coffee sector.
    3. DISSEMINATE: knowledge products to a global audience through the network integration into training materials and programs participation in industry events contributions to prominent coffee sector publications ITC’s online Coffee Guide Resource Hub.


    We use ITC’s ‘Alliances for Action’ approach, which uniquely draws upon collaborations with other value chain actors and networks to achieve impact at a systems scale. This collaborative approach, combined with data driven action research, serves to catalyze broad systems change for the coffee sector.


    Our current research initiatives

    The growth in participation and interest in these three initiatives has shown the importance of them for the sector. We intend to build upon each of them to establish as on-going initiatives sharing important, reliable information to the coffee sector. Each year, the network will prioritize new research initiatives that address pressing coffee sector needs.

    • Produce reliable, neutral statistics that reflect the way coffee is traded today, using the Coffee Guide’s three market segments: standard, premium, and specialized
    • Vet this data across the coffee industry through a cross-sectoral, pre-competitive Data Aggregation Advisory Group 

    To enable informed decision-making for all coffee sector actors through reliable historical date

    What’s Next:
    • Continue and build the Data Aggregation Advisory Group to improve data
    • Publish annual export, production, and consumption data on The Coffee Guide Resource Hub
    Key Partner:

    International Coffee Organization (ICO)
    Advisory Group participation: 23 participants representing 16 organizations

    • Provide a comprehensive overview of sustainability initiatives within the coffee sector through an interactive online map, displaying who is doing what and where in sustainability
    • Build a database that captures information on over 350 projects globally

    To promote collaboration, co-investment, and knowledge sharing to drive sustainable practices 

    To identify overlaps and gaps to inform strategic funding decisions toward a more sustainable sector

    What’s Next:
    • Collaborate with other global sustainability platforms to expand database, analyze findings, and share learnings
    • Update the initiatives annually
    • Expand dataset to capture more initiatives led by producing country organizations and governments
    Key Partners:
    • International Coffee Organization (ICO) via the Coffee Public Private Task Force Technical Workstream 3 and the European Commission DG INPTA
    • Collaborative effort with input from two networks representing 35 + organizations from the public and private sector
    • Propose a definition for Circular Economy in the coffee sector
    • Build knowledge, map and identify gaps in Circular Economy practices throughout the coffee value chain using a systemic design approach
    • Contribute to the 2023 ICO Coffee Development Report

    To promote Circular Economy in practice as a mechanism toward environmental, economic, and social sustainability, transforming the traditional take-make-waste model into new, sustainable products that contribute to better living and economic conditions.

    What’s Next:
    • Promote Circular Economy in practice through the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee (C4CEC)
    • Create a matchmaking mechanism for entrepreneurs to use byproducts as inputs for new products
    Key Partners:

    Lavazza Foundation, Politecnico di Torino University, International Coffee Organization (ICO), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and support in founding the new Center for Circular Economy in Coffee.

    Coffee Guide Resource Hub

    Download the Coffee guide