Taking place at the Plaza Mayor venue in Medellín, this will be the second time the two-day forum has been held in Colombia, after the 2022 edition brought together thousands of coffee professionals.
This year’s forum is set to be even bigger. Producers, traders, roasters, baristas, and other industry professionals from around the world will attend, network, and share their knowledge and insight.
As with every PRF event, alongside a trade show exhibition, there will be an extensive range of expert speakers and panellists, as well as workshops, cupping sessions, and competitions.
Read on to find out what’s happening at PRF Colombia in September 2023.
Learn more about PRF Colombia here.
PRF returns to Colombia
Although many different supply chain actors and stakeholders attend PRF, the event is one of few in the global coffee industry which focuses primarily on producers.
Earlier this year, PRF El Salvador took place at the Salamanca Exhibition Centre in San Salvador. The event welcomed attendees from over 70 countries, including Honduras, Colombia, China, and the US.
The two-day forum is hosted in a prominent or renowned producing country in Latin America, with the overall aim to empower producers and retain more value at origin.
To achieve this goal, PRF places producers at the forefront to ensure their perspectives are included in the most pressing and important conversations in the coffee industry today.
Moreover, the event helps to drive green coffee sales in the host country, and champions Latin America as a global coffee knowledge hub – allowing local producers and other coffee professionals to share their expertise.
Antoine Communaudat is the Export Area Manager at BWT water+more. He attended PRF El Salvador earlier this year.
“Today, consumption of specialty coffee is growing in Latin America,” he says. “Events like PRF help producers forge closer relationships with roasters so they can get the most value out of their coffee.”
Speakers and panellists at PRF Colombia
At every PRF event, leading figures and experts from across the coffee supply chain are invited to give speeches and presentations or take part in panel discussions. As part of these sessions, industry professionals address some of the most critical and compelling topics in the coffee industry.
Cleia Junqueira is a coffee consultant in Dubai. She also spoke at last year’s PRF Colombia event about specialty coffee trends and consumption in the Middle East.
“It was such an honour to be a part of PRF Colombia,” she says. “Even with all of the different backgrounds and cultures, there was a brilliant connection between people and we had such an amazing time together.”
Lectures, speeches, and panels
This year, PRF Colombia will host all lectures and speeches in a dedicated auditorium area.
- Are genetic improvements for coffee the key to increasing competitiveness and sustainability? (Luis Jiménez – Catie, Costa Rica)
- The importance of understanding the chemical and physicochemical nature of coffee (Seneida Lopera-Cardona – Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia)
- Coffee prices for 2023/24 (Albert Scalla – StoneX, US)
- Beyond higher prices (Martin Mayorga – PRF Diamond Sponsor Mayorga Coffee, US)
- What should a producer consider when they start roasting coffee? (Rodrigo Jaeger – Black Drop, Chile)
- Biomass management on coffee farms: A strategy for optimising production and quality (Ángela Barrero – La Bodega de la Finca, Colombia)
- Embracing Latin American identity: Embedding culture into your business (José Guzmán – Kofra Coffee, UK)
- Elevating flavour profiles and quality at scale for coffee producers (Santiago Lopez – The Colombian Coffee Bar and Roastery, Canada)
- Using invasive microorganisms for “exotic” fermentation: Is there a risk for the environment? (Andrés Ospina – Color of Nature Group, Japan)
- Transitioning to organic agriculture: The path to differentiation for your coffee farm? (Oscar Alonzo – Finca Cual Bicicleta, Honduras)
- Revitalising the coffee sector with younger generations at origin (Ana Maria Donneys – Café Primitivo, Colombia)
- Wastewater treatment for smallholder coffee farmers: A sustainable alternative (Patricia Tello Reategui – TechnoServe, Peru)
- Export factoring: An alternative for scaling sales in the coffee sector (Adriana Quiceno – RTS International, Colombia)
- Adding value at origin: The economic impact of coffee roasting and processing (Luis Velez – Amor Perfecto, Colombia)
- Creating an inspired menu with cold brew (Julia Leach – Toddy, US)
PRF Official Finance Sponsor Bancolombia will also present a speech on day one of the forum.
Other speeches and lectures on day two will include:
- Understanding what it takes to roast for competitions (Eduardo Choza – Mayorga Coffee, US)
- How to enhance aroma compounds during coffee processing & brewing (Sasa Sestic – ONA Coffee, Australia)
- Analysing the evolving US coffee market (Matt Swenson – Nestlé, US)
- Capturing new markets: Strategies for producers accessing emerging specialty countries (Mostafa El-Saiid – Al Fayrouz Company, Egypt)
- The rise of exotics: Unveiling China’s growing enthusiasm for specialty coffee (Jason Kew – Kew Specialty Coffee, China)
- Navigating EU legislation: Should producers engage with the ESG agenda? (Fabricio Andrade – Sancoffee, Brazil)
- A roaster’s guide to entering the Eastern European market (Zoran Stanojevic – Kafeterija, Serbia)
- Exploring the opportunities & challenges in sourcing competition coffees – panel discussion (Olivia Morris – Balzac Brothers, US and Vladislav Demonenko – Kolo Coffee, Germany)
- Bridging the age gap in coffee production: Success stories directly from origin (Ricardo Pereira & Nicholas Castellano – Ally Coffee, US; Julia Peixoto Peters – Peixoto Coffee, Brazil; Lucas Cuadros – Unblended Coffee, Colombia)
- Your coffee delivered right! The importance of successful trade execution in specialty and commercial coffee (Konstantinos Vallianos – Kafea Terra, Greece)
- Building a successful vertically integrated brand: From farm to cup (Julia Peixoto Peters – Peixoto Coffee, Brazil)
- Prolonging fermentation according to the state of maturation of the coffee cherry (Valentina Osorio – Cenicafé, Colombia)
No Filter Panel series
On the morning of the second day at PRF, the No Filter panel series will take place. This is a groundbreaking discussion platform for industry experts to have difficult and challenging – but also necessary – discussions.
This year’s No Filter Panel will include three topics:
- Commercial or specialty: Which has a bigger impact on the producers’ livelihoods? (Rubén Gallozzi Cálix, Scarlette Soanny Zeron, and Luis Velez)
- What is more important: The price per pound or the cost of production? (Piotr Kotarba, Jonathan Moral, and Juan Ricardo Gómez)
- Beyond microlots: Every coffee has a market (Olga Cuellar Gomez, Francesco Sanapo, and Dale Harris)
Competitions at PRF Colombia
This year, PRF Colombia will host three coffee championships. Each competition will assess a broad range of skills and expertise, and help to push the boundaries of innovation in specialty coffee.
Global Roasting Contest
Following the inaugural Global Coffee Roasting Contest which was held in El Salvador earlier this year, the second iteration of the event will take place at PRF Colombia.
The unique judging format of the competition is unlike any other in the coffee industry. The Global Coffee Roasting Contest includes a final assessment round where all PRF Colombia attendees have the chance to vote for their favourite coffee, as well as a panel of judges who select a technical winner.
Specialty green coffee sourcing company !FEST Coffee Mission is the Official Roasting Sponsor for the Global Coffee Roasting Contest. Professional sample roaster manufacturer ROEST will also provide equipment for the competition.
The practice round will take place on 13 September, while the first sample preparation and judging round will be held on 14 September. On 15 September, the second judging round, serving of finalists’ samples at the Brew Bar (sponsored by Kofra Coffee, along with Official Espresso Bar sponsor Sanremo), and winner announcement will take place.
Cold Brew Championship
The third edition of the Cold Brew Championship will take place at PRF Colombia. Sixteen competitors will go head-to-head to prepare two cold brew-based beverages for a panel of judges.
Toddy is the Official Cold Brew Sponsor for PRF, and will supply the competition equipment. Competitors are responsible for their coffee, signature drink ingredients, and any other items not included on the final equipment list.
Competitors will prepare their cold brew on 14 September and present their drinks on 15 September. The judging round and winner announcement will also take place on 15 September.
Olla Coffee Championship
In partnership with Official Barista Sponsor Amor Perfecto, PRF will host the third edition of Olla Coffee Championship (or Campeonato de Olla in Spanish). The competition celebrates and honours the traditional Latin American Olla coffee pot.
All competition rounds will be held on 14 September and the winner will be announced on 15 September.
Fibtex produces and distributes coffee packaging, and operates in Colombia and Peru. The company created the competition to highlight and celebrate the hard work and dedication of Latin American producers, as well as showcase high-quality GrainPro green coffee packaging.
Submitted green coffee samples will be roasted and cupped prior to PRF Colombia. The winner of the Fibtex Championship will be announced at PRF Colombia on 14 September.
Who will host workshops and cupping sessions?
Alongside lectures, panels and competitions, PRF Colombia attendees can also participate in interactive workshops at the event. These will take place in a designated area, with each workshop having a limited number of attendees – so prior registration is recommended.
On day one, several companies and organisations will host workshops:
- Yeast manufacturer Selvatech
- Cold brew manufacturer Toddy
- Mayorga Coffee, which will discuss its roundtable scholarships
- StoneX, which will present on “Coffee Prices’ Risk Management“
Day two, meanwhile, will include workshops led by:
- Digital platform Trace.Coffee
- Sigma Advisors S.A.S, which will discuss “The Plateau: The route to growing and financing your exports“
- Rainforest Alliance, which will present on “Current vision for the Rainforest Alliance Certification Program – More sustainability equals more benefits for farms“
- Investigación para la Conservación en el Neotrópico, which will discuss its Bird Friendly Coffee Landscape Partnership
- International non-profit TechnoServe
Numerous cupping sessions will be held in two dedicated rooms at PRF Colombia, sponsored by PRF Gold Sponsor MTPak Coffee, which is also the Official Education Sponsor.
These sessions will be hosted by:
- PRF Bronze Sponsor Ally Coffee
- Armonia by Promising Crops
- Global Cafés
- !Fest Coffee Mission
- Cooperativa de Caficultores del Cauca
- Colors of Nature SAS
- Kilometro Cero Coffee
- Glop Coffee Company
- Cooperativa Cafetalera San Miguelito Limitada COCASMIL
- Those Coffee People
- Lohas Beans
- Jaguara Coffee
Attendee space will be limited for all cupping sessions, so visitors interested in taking part should register in advance.
PRF will return to Colombia on 14 & 15 September, and this year’s event is set to be even bigger than the last. The two-day forum will take place 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 a ticket to the two-day PRF event, you can find more information here.
Please note: PRF does not cover any travel, accommodation, or other costs for speakers and panellists.
Photo credits: Producer Roaster Forum
Perfect Daily Grind
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