April 1, 2021

Virtual Producer & Roaster Forum 2021 in depth: Speaker updates & more details


Virtual PRF is now just days away. On April 5 & 6, stakeholders from across the coffee sector will come together at the event to watch industry leaders give lectures, listen to insightful panel discussions, and connect with fellow coffee professionals.

The event will be hosted on the cutting-edge Airmeet platform, and will be the first time it has ever been used in the coffee sector. It will engage with the real issues the coffee sector faces, and look at innovations from businesses all across the supply chain while discussing new market opportunities.

However, since publishing our list of the speakers and panels at Virtual PRF last month, several new additions have been announced. Read on to find out who else will be joining the event’s lineup, as well as some more details on featured speakers and panellists.

Last chance to get your Virtual PRF tickets here!

Attending Virtual PRF

At the time of writing, 1,067 tickets for Virtual PRF have been sold, which is more than 90% of the event’s total ticket allocation. To buy tickets, click here.

For producers, Virtual PRF presents a real opportunity to connect with green coffee buyers and forge strong, lasting business relationships. 

Alongside the lectures, panels, and workshops, the Airmeet platform features a number of opportunities for networking. In the lounge, producers can look for green coffee buyers and send them a message privately, or join virtual tables to meet other professionals and contribute to the conversation. 

Producers looking to network at Virtual PRF should take a look at this guide.

For coffee roasters, Virtual PRF will be a platform to engage with producers from all around the world, as well as with importers, exporters, and other industry leaders. This opportunity will support roasters to meet producers from all across Honduras and further afield. 

These producers will come from farms of varying size across a range of producing regions. This means Virtual PRF is a great chance to find something new as well as an opportunity to network and share knowledge across the supply chain.

Updates: New speakers & panellists at Virtual PRF

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of new additions to the Virtual PRF lineup. They are:

  • 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? 
    • Existing panellists Sam MacCuaig (Keynote Coffee) and Stephen Bannister (Condesa Co. Lab) will be joined by new additions Mayra Orellana Powell and Maritza Midence. 
    • Mayra founded Catracha Coffee as a means to link specialty buyers to farmers in her community of Santa Elena, Honduras. Since its inception, Catracha has expanded into exporting, non-profit work, and community initiatives. 
    • Maritza is the manager of Highland Coffee Company and the founder of the Honduras Chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. She has dedicated her career to highlighting the value of female producers, allowing them achieve better prices and higher standards of living. 
  • 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. 
    • Existing panellists Natalia Li (Ingenuity Coffee) and Lewis Harding (Coffee Exchange) will be joined by new addition Brian Clark.
    • Brian is the owner-operator of Wandering Moose Café and Legacy Coffee. He has spent 12 years of his 20-year coffee career in China, and is a certified Q grader and authorised SCA trainer.
  • Less Is More: Small Scale Production Of High Quality Coffee: This lecture by Joao Mattos will explore the small-scale production of high quality coffees, discussing whether or not this specialist model is sustainable for producers.
    • Joao Mattos is a new Virtual PRF speaker, and the Market and Production Coffee Coordinator of the Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers and Workers (CLAC).

Virtual PRF in depth: Panel discussions & lectures

Introduction to the Honduran Coffee Sector (Franciso Ordóñez)

Francisco Ordóñez is the President of the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE). IHCAFE is the main research and regulatory body for coffee producers in Honduras. Its mission is to promote Honduran coffee, drive excellence across the country’s agroindustrial coffee supply chain, and to secure better, more sustainable outcomes for coffee producers in Honduras.

To achieve this mission, IHCAFE works with the government on coffee policy, supports producers to improve their income through a variety of methods, and champions agricultural research.

As the President of Virtual PRF’s Host Country Sponsor, Francisco will present an introductory lecture on April 5 at 9:15AM CST (8:15 PDT/10:15 CDT/11:15 EDT/4:15 BST/6:15 EEST)

Francisco’s lecture will give attendees an overview of Honduras’ history as a coffee producing country, as well as examining producing regions and how the country is changing.

Analysing the Supply Chain: Transactional Values (Martin Mayorga)

Martin Mayorga emigrated to the US after living in several Central and South America throughout his youth. Raised in agricultural communities, Martin quickly became aware of the systemic poverty that producers often face.

In 1997, Martin founded Mayorga Organics with the aim of eliminating this systemic poverty; today, the company roasts coffee as well as growing, sourcing, and distributing organic artisanal products across the US.

As the Founder and CEO of Virtual PRF’s Diamond Sponsor, Martin will present a keynote lecture on the coffee supply chain on April 5 at 11:00 CST (10:00 PDT/12:00 CDT/13:00 EDT/18:00 BST/20:00 EEST)

Martin’s lecture will take a look at the entire coffee supply chain and analyse the various different frameworks used to buy, transport, and trade goods across the Americas.

Virtual PRF will take place on April 5 and 6, 2021. Get your tickets now before the event begins on Monday!

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).

Perfect Daily Grind

Photo credits: IHCAFE, Mayorga Organics

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