May 18, 2023

Apply to be a volunteer at PRF Colombia 2023


On 16 & 17 March 2023, Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) took place in El Salvador for the second time. The two-day forum was held at the Salamanca Exhibition Centre in San Salvador, and attracted thousands of international coffee professionals.

Alongside a diverse range of lectures and panel discussions, the event featured workshops, cuppings, four competitions (including the first-ever Global Roasting Contest), and the first-ever Global Coffee Awards.

To host a world-leading coffee event, PRF requires a team of dedicated and passionate volunteers. And with PRF set to return to the Plaza Mayor venue in Medellín, Colombia on 14 & 15 September 2023, thousands of visitors are once again expected to attend this year’s forum – so support from volunteers is essential.

For those looking to take part in a groundbreaking event held at origin, volunteer applications are now open.

Read on to learn more about PRF, what volunteering entails at the event, and how you can apply to volunteer at PRF Colombia.

Learn more about PRF Colombia here.

A panel discussion at PRF El Salvador

Why is PRF returning to Colombia?

PRF is a one-of-a-kind event that attracts a wide range of international coffee professionals – from producers and green coffee traders to roasters and baristas. 

As a producer-focused event, the goal of PRF is to drive green coffee sales in the host country. Moreover, the two-day forum also champions Latin America as a global coffee knowledge hub. This essentially allows producers to add more value to their coffee, as well as ensuring their voices are heard in some of the most important industry-wide discussions.

Every year, PRF takes place in a different origin country in Latin America. This year, alongside an event held in El Salvador in March, the two-day forum will return to Colombia on 14 & 15 September.

The country is the third biggest coffee producer in the world, and grows some of the most sought-after varieties and coffee species, including:

Why volunteer at PRF?

Every PRF event welcomes some of the most prominent industry leaders and experts to discuss the most pressing issues that the coffee sector faces – as well as providing potential solutions.

In line with this, volunteers at PRF Colombia have the opportunity to connect and network with some of the most knowledgeable coffee professionals in the sector.

“For volunteers, PRF is an opportunity to meet coffee business owners, roasters, and producers from around the world, and be part of a meaningful and purposeful event,” the PRF team says. 

“Volunteers are crucial to the success of the event,” the team adds. “We want to introduce them to potential mentors that they can work with, as well as build long-term relationships with.”

“I am more than grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at PRF,” says a former volunteer. “Taking part in the two-day forum event guarantees the opportunity to learn, make many connections, and above all else, share your passion for coffee.”

Moreover, volunteers can also learn new skills – both practical and social – and gain new insight into the global coffee sector.

“This year, we are focusing on establishing a formal training programme for lead volunteers to streamline operations for the entire volunteer team,” the PRF team says.

Another previous volunteer says: “Thanks to PRF, I was able to learn so much more about coffee.

“I was also able to meet people in the industry who I admire a lot, and meet producers and baristas who I would never have been introduced to otherwise,” they continue. “All in all, it was an incredible experience and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer at the event.”

A volunteer holds a PRF-branded paper coffee cup.

Who can apply to be a volunteer?

If you are a coffee professional or enthusiast who is at least 18 years of age, you can apply to volunteer at PRF. Volunteers need to be proactive and attentive, as well as being passionate about coffee and committed to delivering excellent service.

“We want a wide range of people to apply – not just Colombians,” the PRF team says. “At previous events, we were amazed by how far people travelled to volunteer.

“We have had people from Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the US, Qatar, and Costa Rica apply to volunteer at previous events,” the team adds.

What is expected of volunteers?

Successful volunteer applicants will work across various areas of the two-day forum, which include:

  • Exhibition area
  • Cupping rooms
  • Workshop rooms
  • VIP Lounge
  • Espresso bar
  • Brew bar
  • Registration stations
  • Competitions – including the Toddy Cold Brew Championship and the Global Roasting Contest
  • The second iteration of the Global Coffee Awards – a new, innovative awards scheme recognising excellence in the global coffee sector

As such, PRF needs volunteers who are comfortable working with a range of coffee equipment – including espresso machines, grinders, and pour over brewers. Volunteers should also have some experience in customer service.

PRF requires volunteers to commit to two four-hour shifts (one each day) and applicants should arrive at least 30 minutes before their shift is due to start.

In exchange for their time and hard work, each volunteer will receive a free ticket to the two-day forum, which includes full access to all events across both days. Volunteers will also receive:

  • An official PRF Volunteer Participation Certificate
  • An official PRF Colombia t-shirt
  • Snacks and water

It’s also important that prospective volunteers keep a few things in mind before applying:

  • International volunteers are responsible for all of their own flight and accommodation arrangements at all times
  • Volunteers are not able to participate in any competitions or activities that could clash with their shifts
PRF volunteers use an espresso machine.

How do I apply?

If you’re interested in being a volunteer at PRF Colombia, please apply by 31 July 2023. The event will take place on 14 and 15 September 2023, and volunteers will be approved long before then.

To apply, please fill out the volunteer application form in English here and in Spanish here.

If your application is successful, you’ll hear from the PRF team within a week of receiving your submission.

A PRF volunteer uses an espresso machine.

PRF is returning to Colombia in September, and the 2023 edition of the event is set to be the biggest one so far. 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 El Salvador and last year’s PRF Colombia, learn more about PRF, and sign up to receive the newsletter.

Apply to be a PRF Colombia volunteer by filling out this form in English or this form in Spanish.

Photo credits: Producer & Roaster Forum

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