The past two years have radically changed the landscape for events in the coffee industry, and the shift to online trade shows and networking has been well-documented. Research from event organiser Eventbrite found that some 75 million people registered for over 1 million online events in 2020.
To adapt to these ever-changing circumstances, we announced an industry-first virtual coffee event earlier this year: Virtual Producer & Roaster Forum (Virtual PRF). This world-class digital event brought together over 1,500 attendees from over 50 countries for a unique 2-day digital experience.
However, as the demand for high-quality in-person events increases once more, we are proud to announce the 2022 edition of Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF), which will be held in Colombia. Read on to learn more.
Learn more about PRF here.
Producer & Roaster Forum: An overview
Every year, PRF brings together coffee professionals from across the globe – whether in-person or virtually.
Each PRF event focuses on one origin country, where it hosts the event: PRF Colombia 2022 will be the fifth of its kind. Previous host countries include El Salvador, Brazil, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Julio Guevara is the Director of PRF. He explains why it’s so vital that PRF is held in a coffee-producing country.
“Groundbreaking valuable events at origin have always been lacking in the coffee industry,” Julio says. “We need to take the conversation and platform to where they have more impact – a coffee-producing country.”
Henry Wilson is the founder of PDG Global. He tells me that PRF provides a platform for producers to cultivate long-term relationships with traders and roasters.
“We want to shift the narrative towards empowering the farmer,” Henry says. “PRF treats them as professionals and entrepreneurs, giving them the chance to network and display that expertise.
“We want to bring their voices to the table. They should be active in the important sector-wide discussions, and help lead the way for the coffee industry.”
The ultimate goal of PRF 2022 is to drive green coffee sales for the Colombian coffee sector. Last year, in Honduras, Virtual PRF facilitated more than US $10 million in sales.
With more than 5,000 people from over 50 countries expected to attend PRF Colombia 2022, this number is expected to increase even further.
Henry says: “PRF’s aim is to create the world’s best coffee event by bringing experts and roasters from around the world together with the people in the industry that deserve the most credit and attention: the producers.
“It’s simple: we want to drive meaningful industry-wide discussion with producers at the table.”
PRF Colombia Origin Trip Experience
Meanwhile, for roasters, PRF Colombia 2022 will offer something completely unique: the PRF Origin Trip Experience.
By traveling to Colombia, roasters from around the world will be supported to build long-lasting friendships and business relationships with the farmers who produce their coffees.
As with previous years, the PRF Origin Trip Experience takes place over three days:
- Roasters will be placed in groups of 20 to stay with hosts on various coffee farms in different coffee-growing regions.
- Roasters get the chance to meet farmers, as well as visit wet and dry mills.
- Roasters can take part in a series of activities on the farms, including harvesting and processing.
- Roasters can take part in cupping sessions and roundtable discussions with producers.
Colombia is the third-largest coffee producer in the world. This year, it exported some 14.1 million 60kg bags of coffee.
It is widely considered one of the most famous and prominent coffee producing countries in the world.
“PRF Colombia 2022 is set to create a huge amount of discussion around the Colombian coffee sector,” Julio says. “It will be a platform for business, networking, and the coffee industry as a whole.”
The event will consist of two parts: the three-day PRF Origin Trip Experience and the two-day forum. The forum will be held in Medellín, the capital of the Antioquia province and the second-largest city in the country.
After the Origin Trip, both roasters and producers will meet at the two-day PRF Colombia 2022 forum in Medellín. This will include an extensive programme of talks, educational workshops, cuppings, presentations from global industry leaders, and networking opportunities for both producers and roasters.
“More and more coffee-producing countries are investing in internal consumption and turning towards specialty coffee,” Julio explains. “PRF provides the opportunity for stakeholders across the industry to witness this transition first-hand.
“PRF also allows the host country to close the gap between commercial and specialty coffee by learning more about global trends in the coffee industry,” he adds.
However, the ultimate goal of PRF is to drive sales of green Colombian coffee, as Henry explains.
“Looking at an example from a PRF event a few years ago, one of the first-ever farm visit hosts from PRF El Salvador is now receiving orders for three containers of coffee,” he says. “Before PRF, his orders were for a few bags.
“This is an increase of millions of dollars from just one transaction with one exporter. The opportunity for producers to build multimillion dollar trade deals at PRF is clearly there.”
What does this mean for the coffee industry?
The aim for PRF Colombia 2022, as with previous PRFs, is to allow coffee professionals to network and develop long-lasting relationships that drive green coffee sales.
“PRF is a truly global event,” Henry says. “Producers, roasters, and traders from Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa, and the US will be attending.
“We want people to fully engage in one-on-one meetings to build long-term relationships which are mutually beneficial.”
Over 150 roasters are expected to attend PRF this year, as well as thousands of local Colombian coffee producers, traders, roasters, and café owners.
Henry concludes by saying: “We’re bringing a high-quality event to origin and putting it on the farmer’s doorstep.”
The expectation is that PRF Colombia 2022 will drive the Colombian coffee sector forward and empower producers across the nation – especially smallholder farmers, who have historically been more limited in their access to trade shows and events.
“We’re not looking to organise PRF like any other event in the coffee industry,” Julio concludes. “It’s going to be one of a kind – and an unmissable opportunity for global coffee professionals.”
Perfect Daily Grind
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