June 1, 2023

PRF announces new No Filter panel series


On 14 & 15 September 2023, Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) will once again return to Medellín, Colombia. Taking place at the Plaza Mayor venue, the two-day forum is set to attract thousands of international coffee professionals – ranging from producers and traders to roasters and baristas.

Alongside workshops, cuppings, competitions (including the Global Roasting Contest), and the second edition of the Global Coffee Awards, PRF Colombia will feature an extensive series of lectures and panel discussions.

However, this year, PRF is proud to announce a new innovative panel discussion format: the No Filter panel series. It will be held for the first time at PRF Colombia.

Read on to learn more about PRF, the No Filter panel series, and how you can apply.

Learn more about PRF Colombia here.

Join PRF panelists and speakers in Colombia to discuss pressing issues in the coffee industry.

What is PRF?

PRF is a one-of-a-kind event that brings together a wide range of international coffee professionals. Attendees can connect, gain unique industry insight, and learn from one another.

As a producer-focused event, the goal of PRF is to drive green coffee sales in the host country. PRF also aims to ensure producers can add more value to their coffee.

Moreover, the two-day forum also champions Latin America as a global coffee knowledge hub. The event also strives to ensure producers’ voices are heard in some of the most important industry-wide discussions.

Every year, PRF takes place in a different producing 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.

Every PRF event hosts a range of lectures, panel discussions, and workshops. These sessions explore some of the most pressing issues the industry faces.

Introducing the No Filter panel series

This year in Colombia, PRF will debut the No Filter panel series: a groundbreaking discussion platform which will take place in the morning of 15 September.

Henry Wilson is the founder of PDG Global.

“The aim of the No Filter panel series is to be disruptive and focus on some of the more pressing – yet often unspoken and overlooked – issues in the coffee industry,” he says.

Henry explains why discussion platforms like No Filter are so important for the coffee industry.

“In specialty coffee in particular, it’s common to come across the same opinions and perspectives on certain topics,” he says. “As a result, unintentionally, it can be all too easy to ignore some of the more pressing issues in the industry – despite the best of intentions.

“To avoid this and create a more open dialogue, we have launched the No Filter Panel series,” he adds. “It’s imperative that for successful growth of the coffee industry, we remain open minded to different ideas and perspectives.”

What is the aim of the No Filter panels?

Ultimately, the overall aim of the No Filter panel series is to create a platform for industry experts to have difficult and challenging – but also very necessary – discussions.

“Education and knowledge sharing have never been more important in the coffee industry,” Henry says. “Both the specialty and commercial coffee sectors can learn from one another, especially through balanced, neutral, and independent platforms like the No Filter panel series.”

It’s fair to say that many specialty coffee professionals are incredibly passionate about their industry and the work that they do – and rightly so. Without the growth of the specialty coffee market over the past two decades, there wouldn’t have been such a push to improve coffee quality and pay higher prices.

At the same time, however, it’s clear that specialty coffee can learn more from the commercial coffee market. Whether it’s knowing how to scale a business more effectively or understanding how to appeal to a broader range of consumers, it’s important to remain open minded and receptive.

“PRF understands there are some difficult conversations which need to be discussed in the coffee industry, and we recognise that not everyone will share the same beliefs or perspectives,” Henry explains.

“Platforms encouraging these challenging discussions in the coffee industry have been somewhat limited in recent years,” he adds. “However, these controversial and polarising conversations help to drive specialty coffee forward.”

Coffee experts discuss specialty coffee at Producer & Roaster Forum.

Which topics will be discussed?

PRF Colombia will launch the first-ever No Filter panel series. This year, applicants can choose from the following three panel discussion topics:

  • Is the coffee industry moving forwards or backwards with exporters buying cherry rather than parchment?
  • What’s more important: Price per lb or cost of production?
  • Specialty vs commercial: Which makes more of an impact on producers’ livelihoods?

“PRF believes that everyone’s voice is important and should be included in these conversations – so they should have the chance to express and defend their opinion,” Henry says. “In line with this, we want the No Filter panel series to encourage people to openly discuss conflicting ideas and opinions to avoid creating an echo chamber.”

How can I apply?

If you’re interested in taking part in the No Filter panel series at PRF Colombia, please apply by 31 July 2023. The event will take place on 14 & 15 September 2023, so panellists will be finalised long before that.

To apply, please fill out the 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 a profile photo, as well as a short bio explaining your role in the industry and the insight you plan to provide at the event.

All panellists need to have already purchased a ticket to PRF Colombia. They will also need to be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

Coffee producers and roasters take part in a panel discussion at Producer & Roaster Forum.

PRF will return to Colombia in September. 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 take part in the No Filter Panel series at PRF Colombia by filling out this form in English and this form in Spanish.

Please note: PRF does not cover any travel, accommodation, or other costs for speakers and panellists.

Photo credits: Producer Roaster Forum

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