On the family-owned coffee plots that produce most of Africa's coffee, it is usually women who undertake the majority of maintenance and harvesting work. Here, and in other coffee-producing areas around the world, their contribution is vital. In October 2008, ITC arranged to send two female Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) employees to Costa Rica for the first truly international conference for women in coffee. Women in Coffee, a leading information sharing and training organization for women, which is active primarily in Central America, coordinated the conference. The collaboration with EAFCA has allowed ITC to expand its network of women working in the coffee sector. In 2008, it used these contacts to survey women in 15 coffee-producing countries around the world. As there was very little information available previously, the findings are particularly valuable. ITC is currently developing plans for further cooperation with women in coffee-producing countries.
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