• The need for training

    Coffee quality determines marketability and value. Thus, all those engaged in primary and export processing, as well as marketing, should understand the impact individual actions may have on quality.

    Liquorers and quality controllers should not only fully understand 'quality' but should also be able to offer growers and processors advice on how to improve their product. Traders and exporters should be adept at assessing quality for the purpose of determining a coffee's suitability for specific markets, and its commercial value. Officials, strategists and researchers involved with the coffee sector should be familiar with the production and processing chain, and should have some understanding at least of issues affecting coffee quality and marketing.

    It is one of the objectives of "The Coffee Guide" to provide such insights, particularly as regards quality and marketing. Agronomy is however outside the scope of the Guide.

    Coffee expertise results from a combination of on-the-job training and experience gained over the years. Often, but not always, building on a foundation of other skills. Of course not everyone requires the same level of expertise but the number of persons constantly in need of some form of training is considerable, even in very small producing countries. In addition to targeting specific subjects such training should also bring about a better understanding of the entire post-harvest cycle, and of the producer's position in the world market.

    The post-harvest cycle has many separate stages, beginning with the individual grower and ending with marketing and export. Unfortunately, many individuals often know little of what occurs in preceding or subsequent stages. They may work in relative isolation. One important training objective is therefore to provide a general understanding of the industry, thereby making all conscious of their role in what is in fact a continuous process: each stage contributing to, or detracting from, the product's marketability and value.
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