April 13, 2023

Speaker applications open for PRF Colombia 2023


In 2022, the coffee industry’s largest producer-focused event – Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) – took place in Medellín, Colombia. The two-day forum attracted thousands of local and international coffee professionals, and also generated an estimated US $10 million in sales.

Earlier this year, PRF El Salvador took place at the Salamanca Exhibition Centre in San Salvador. Alongside an extensive series of lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and cuppings, the event also hosted four competitions (including the first-ever Global Roasting Contest) and the inaugural Global Coffee Awards.

On 14 & 15 September 2023, PRF will return to the Plaza Mayor venue in Medellín, Colombia. The two-day forum will once again welcome thousands of industry professionals, including leading experts who will discuss some of the most pressing issues in the global coffee sector.

If you are interested in speaking at PRF, and you want to help drive green coffee sales in Colombia, then you can apply to be a speaker now!

Read on to learn more about the event, the responsibilities of being a speaker, and how you can apply.

Learn more about PRF Colombia here.

Baristas prepare coffee at Producer & Roaster Forum in El Salvador.

PRF returns to Colombia

PRF is an industry-leading event that attracts a wide range of coffee professionals from around the world – from producers and green coffee traders to roasters and baristas. 

The goal of PRF is to empower producers and drive green coffee sales in the host country, as well as championing Latin America as a global coffee knowledge hub. 

As part of this, the event serves as a platform to discuss the most important issues that the coffee industry faces today, as well as encouraging discussion on providing solutions. Furthermore, producers are at the forefront of these conversations – ensuring their voices and opinions are heard loud and clear.

So, why is PRF returning to Colombia?

Julio Guevara is the Director of PRF.

“In 2023, the second iteration of PRF Colombia is set to be the biggest and best event of its kind – an industry-leading coffee event that takes place in a producing country,” he explains. “Here, you’re able to simultaneously connect with industry leaders from Latin America and network with global professionals.”

Moreover, Colombia is the third-biggest coffee-producing country in the world, and has an outstanding reputation for producing high-quality arabica varieties – such as:

  • Caturra
  • Bourbon
  • Typica
  • Gesha

What will happen at PRF Colombia?

As with every previous PRF event, the two-day forum in Colombia will include guest speakers who will address thousands of international attendees. Speakers and lecturers will be able to share their knowledge, experiences, and visions for the future of the coffee industry – creating a platform for people to raise awareness about the issues which matter to them the most.

In addition to these talks, the forum will also feature panel discussions, workshops, and cuppings. 

“At this year’s PRF Colombia, we will have one speaker stage,” Julio says. “This is so we can host a more streamlined event and create more value for all attendees.

“Furthermore, throughout one day of the event, we will also be debuting a discussion-style stage format,” he adds. “A speaker or host will introduce a topic, which attendees can discuss in small groups, and then present their collective ideas to the audience.

“The aim is to encourage more dynamic discussion of some of the most pressing issues which the coffee industry faces – as well as providing potential solutions,” Julio continues.

Coffee competitions and awards at PRF Colombia

Alongside these thought-provoking speeches and discussions, PRF Colombia will host two high-level coffee competitions: the third Toddy Cold Brew Championship and the second Global Roasting Contest. Both competitions took place at PRF El Salvador, as well as the 2023 Salvadoran Barista Championship and Brewer’s Cup.

The format of the Global Roasting Contest is unprecedented in the coffee industry, with all attendees able to taste the competition coffees at the Brew Bar and vote for their favourite.

Finally, PRF Colombia will also host the second edition of the Global Coffee Awards – a new awards programme recognising and celebrating key innovators and leaders in the international coffee industry. 

At PRF El Salvador earlier this year, four judges selected winners across six categories:

  • PRF El Salvador Product Excellence Award
  • PRF El Salvador Product Innovation Award
  • PRF El Salvador Iconic Design Award
  • PRF El Salvador Best Booth Award
  • Best Producer – Central America Award
  • Best Roaster – Central America Award
Martin Mayorga speaks to attendees at Producer & Roaster Forum.

Who can apply to become a speaker?

PRF aims to bring together leading coffee experts and professionals from all levels of the supply chain, with a specific focus on producers and roasters. However, all actors and stakeholders are welcome to apply.

“At this year’s forum, we’re calling for people who have attended previous PRF events to apply to become speakers,” Julio explains. “In previous years, our team has hand selected speakers, but at PRF Colombia, we invite people to rework their original lecture ideas in line with our vision for the event.

“We are also looking to deliver more value to local smallholder coffee producers,” he adds. “At last year’s event, we had an exceptional lineup of speakers who were from Colombia, as well as all over the world, so we want to retain this level of insight.”

Qualifications to apply

If you are an English or Spanish-speaking coffee professional in any capacity, you are eligible to apply to become a speaker at PRF Colombia. 

Applicants must have at least five years of experience in their respective fields, as well as some degree of experience in public speaking. Speakers will be expected to present for around 20 minutes.

More importantly, speakers need to offer a beneficial or educational experience to attendees. This can range from unique insight into upcoming industry trends to new ways of thinking about particular issues in the coffee sector, such as sustainability and market access.

Speeches at PRF events also focus on the specific needs of the host country, with the aim of delivering value for key industry stakeholders in the country – especially producers. 

In line with this, speeches should be tailored to an audience of Latin American coffee professionals – including roasters, green coffee traders, baristas, and coffee competitors. As such, we are specifically encouraging Colombian coffee professionals to apply.

At previous events, topics have included:

  • Coffee quality control
  • Emerging markets & origins
  • Coffee consumption trends
  • Women & gender equity in coffee
  • The economics of green coffee trading 
  • Sustainability, transparency & traceability in the supply chain
  • Experimental processing methods & fermentation

However, alongside speeches and lectures, PRF also hosts panel discussions, workshops, and cupping sessions. Applicants are welcome to apply for these roles, too.

At PRF El Salvador, those in attendance included Martin Mayorga of Mayorga Coffee, World Barista Championship coach Federico Bolaños, and Diego Baraona of Los Pirineos Coffee Farm,.

Mayorga Coffee recently signed a groundbreaking, multi-year Diamond Sponsorship with PRF to champion Latin America as a leading coffee industry knowledge centre.

To watch speeches and panel discussions from PRF Colombia 2022, visit the PRF YouTube channel.

A coffee professional speaks at a Producer & Roaster Forum event.

How can I apply?

If you’re interested in speaking at PRF Colombia, please apply by 31 July 2023. The event will take place on 14 & 15 September 2023, so speakers will be finalised long before that.

To apply, please fill out the speaker application form in English here and in Spanish here. The PRF team will carefully review and consider your application.

If successful, you will hear from PRF within a week of submitting your application. You will then be required to submit an image of yourself, as well as a short bio explaining your role in the industry and the insight you plan to provide at the event.

All speakers are granted two full-access tickets to PRF Colombia – one for themselves, and another for a partner or colleague. However, please note that speakers are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs

Several coffee experts share their knowledge at PRF Colombia.

PRF is returning to Colombia in September, and the 2023 edition of the event is set to be even bigger than last year’s. The two-day forum will take place on 14 & 15 September 2023 at the Plaza Mayor venue in Medellín, Colombia.

To find out more about tickets for the Sourcing Trip Experience, a separate package which also includes access to the two-day PRF event, you can find more information here.

You can also take a look at lectures and panels from PRF Colombia last year and learn more about PRF.

Apply to be a PRF El Salvador speaker by filling out this form in English or this form in Spanish.

Photo credits: Producer & Roaster Forum

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