February 24, 2021

Virtual Producer & Roaster Forum 2021: Speakers & panels announced


Following the announcement of Virtual Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) last month, the event has now released its line-up of speakers and panels.

In response to the growing demand for an industry-leading digital event, these discussions will take place on the cutting-edge virtual Airmeet platform. 

Virtual PRF 2021 aims to set a new standard for online event experiences in the coffee sector, with a focus on collaboration, networking, and driving green coffee sales.

The lectures and panel discussions at the event will cover a range of topics. They will bring industry leaders from around the world to present on real issues and innovations in the coffee sector.

Virtual PRF 2021 will take place on April 5 & 6, 2021. Read on to learn more about the speakers and panel discussions that have been announced.

Learn more about Virtual PRF here.

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Virtual PRF 2021 panel discussions

Virtual PRF will feature a range of panel discussions featuring industry leaders from across the sector.

These will discuss challenges and issues that face stakeholders across the industry, as well as identifying new market opportunities and unpacking existing trends.

See below for a list of all panel discussions.

  • China: The Emerging Coffee Market: China is the fourth-largest country on earth, and has the highest population in the entire world, but it also has one of the world’s lowest coffee consumption rates; citizens consume, on average, just one cup a year. While this might not sound promising, coffee consumption rates in China are growing at 30% a year, compared to an international rate of 2%. For producers and roasters looking to enter an untapped market, it offers incredible potential. 
    • Featuring: Natalia Li (Ingenuity Coffee) and Lewis Harding (Coffee Exchange).
  • Commercial Vs Specialty: Understanding Value: What makes specialty coffee special? We know the quality is much better than commodity-grade beans, but why?
  • Millennial Coffee Trends: If there’s one thing that millennials around the world have in common, it’s a taste for coffee. This group makes up a major percentage of the world’s coffee drinkers, so it’s a generation worth taking note of if you run a coffee shop or roastery and want to stay ahead of the curve. Tapping into this market is crucial for business success, but it won’t happen without an understanding of the trends that drive their behaviour. 
  • Market Access: The Middle East: The Middle East’s coffee sector is experiencing tremendous growth. Specialty coffee shop chains thrive here, particularly in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. With over 9,000 branded coffee outlets in 12 countries, the region presents ample opportunity for investors and is a new market for global producers.
  • Profiling The North American Coffee Drinker: More than 50% of North Americans over the age of 18 years drink coffee every single day. This represents over 150 million daily drinkers. In the US and Canada, coffee consumption is up, “gourmet” coffee consumption is growing, and single-cup home brewing is on the rise. Furthermore, these increases are being led by younger generations.
  • Exotic Coffees & Processing Methods: Natural, washed, and honey coffees with unique flavour profiles are familiar specialty coffee offerings. But this doesn’t mean producers aren’t also open to experimental processing. In coffee, processing is crucial. More than just drying and the removal of mucilage, each method affects a lot’s flavours and sensory characteristics in a unique way. Control coffee processing and you can maintain – or even increase – quality and consistency.
  • FOB Vs Farmgate Price: How much was the farmer who grew your coffee paid?  Finding an answer to this seemingly simple question is challenging. So challenging, in fact, that most coffee shops and specialty coffee roasters don’t know the answer. This is a major concern. When higher prices are being paid, does any of that reach the farmers? Are we supporting sustainable production? 
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Virtual PRF 2021 speakers & lectures

Alongside these panel discussions, Virtual PRF will also feature a number of lectures from key industry figures across both days. 

See below for a list of lecture titles and featured speakers.

  • Introduction To The Honduran Coffee Sector (Francisco Ordoñez – President, IHCAFE)
  • Analysing The Supply Chain: Transactional Values (Martin Mayorga – Founder and CEO, Mayorga Organics)
  • Reviewing The Costs Of Production: A Cost-Benefit Analysis (Karl Wienhold – Founder and Director, Cedro Alto)
  • Why Consider Cold Brew? (Matt Swenson – Director of Coffee, Nestlé)
  • Understanding The Russian Coffee Market (Drago Lakic – Managing Director, Soyuz Coffee)
  • How Forward Crop Purchases Reshaped The Brazilian Market & Impacted Global Prices (Artur Ornelas – Commercial Manager, Mercon Coffee Group)
  • How LIFT Builds A Better Coffee World (Jessenia Argüello – Sustainable Production Manager, Mercon Specialty)
  • Coffee Waves & The Role Of Espresso (Maurizio Giuli – Director of Marketing, Simonelli Group)
  • How Storage And Handling Affect the Quality Of Green Coffee (Diego Lara – Division Manager US/Canada & Europe, GrainPro)
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Other speakers and featured organisations will include:

Attendees will be able to interact with speakers (by asking questions and contributing to polls) during panel discussions and lectures for a more collaborative event experience. 

Beyond this, some speakers will also host virtual booths and tables at the event, meaning there will be further opportunities to ask questions and continue the conversation.

Over the next few weeks, you can keep an eye on the PRF Instagram channel for any further announcements about the event, and upcoming Instagram Live events that will feature PRF speakers.

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Virtual PRF will take place on April 5 & 6, 2021. You can buy your tickets here.

For more information about the event, you can visit the PRF website here, as well as the FAQs here (sponsors), here (technical), and here (attendees).

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