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The ICO promotes the dissemination of knowledge through training and information programmes designed to assist the transfer of technology relevant to coffee through a wide range of activities.
Coffee workshops and seminars
The ICO brings together leading experts to present the latest developments on different aspects of coffee such as Coffee Sector Finance and Geographical Indications, as well as high-level World Coffee Conferences.
Technical presentations on topics such as the coffee genome and quality are made during Council sessions. Presentations and reports are posted on the ICO website enabling wide-spread dissemination of information to the global coffee sector.
In the field
ICO coffee development projects include practical information and training components to assist smallholders in enhancing productivity and competitiveness. Projects are either pilot projects or can be replicated so as to have an impact in a large number of countries. Project materials and results are disseminated to all Member Governments.
Examples include projects which have encouraged the use of improved technology for wet-processing and improved management practices to contain coffee wilt disease. A US$6 million project to prevent mould formation resulted in a website to reduce OTA in coffee (www.coffee-ota.org) and a CD-Rom training tool.
Sharing expertise through studies and publications
Economic studies and reports on topics such as coffee price volatility, risk management and the effects of tariffs on the coffee trade are published on a regular basis.
The Coffee Exporters Guide, which was compiled by the ITC with the ICO and other organizations, covers trends such as niche markets, organic and fair trade labelling, codes of conduct and environmental issues.
The ICO Step-by-Step Guide to promote consumption is another resource which has resulted in investments of some US$30 million promotion programmes and workshops in producing countries, with further investments in the pipeline.
The ICO CoffeeClub is an innovative web-based initiative to create social networks that explore various coffee-related themes and allow users to exchange information and ideas on topics ranging from coffee promotion ideas, to coffee trade.
Discussion communities mediated by expert mediators allow participants to download resources such as videos, photos, presentations, opinions, news and links to relevant sites.