The International Trade Centre released an updated version of the Coffee Guide yesterday. The date (October 1st) is also International Coffee Day, a holiday established by the ICO to celebrate the importance of coffee production to humanity. In practice, it is mainly observed as a day when retailers give coffee away cheaply or for free.

The Coffee Guide document is a comprehensive how-to manual for coffee production and trade, written by the UN agency in cooperation with coffee industry experts. The last edition was published ten years ago, during which time substantial advancement has been made by industry in areas of quality (such as the Q Grader program), sustainability, and traceability.

New content additions to the 2021 Coffee Guide include:

  • How environmental and social sustainability drive industry growth, including the impact of climate change on price volatility and farmer income
  • Updated definitions of coffee quality, an ever-evolving topic, now more closely linked with sustainability and aided by a better understanding of coffee science
  • New metrics that measure coffee, changing from delineation by species (Arabica versus Robusta) to quality category (standard / commodity, premium, and specialty)
  • The impact of modern digitization and technology tools on productivity and quality control
  • An impact analysis of COVID-19 across the supply chain, and its short- and long-term effects on production, consumption, and cross-border trade; and
  • How alliances and international collaboration are necessary to affect wide scale change

Weighing in at 300 pages, the Coffee Guide is not a light read, but contains a wealth of useful information for anyone studying or currently engaged in the commercial production and trade of coffee. ITC “encourage[s] you to use this as a tool to promote and share the guide in a collaborative way,” so be sure to pass it along!

Download your free copy of the Coffee Guide here (25mb PDF)

Coffee Guide Cover 2021