Thousands of coffee professionals descend on Medellín’s Plaza Mayor for PRF Colombia 2022

producer & roaster forum colombia
  • Day one of Producer & Roaster Forum Colombia 2022 attracted more than 5,000 attendees from around the world
  • It is expected to generate around $10.5 million in transactions across the two days
  • The forum has helped promote Medellín as one of the most important global coffee hubs

Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) celebrated the first day of its instalment in Medellín, Colombia today with a blockbuster lineup of speakers, workshops, cuppings, and exhibitors.

The queues to enter the event at 9am this morning stretched right across the length of the majestic Plaza Mayor, which, until July 1, will receive more than 4,000 attendees, including coffee producers, roasters, baristas, traders, and industry leaders from around 50 different countries.

“It’s a real privilege to be in a world-leading coffee-producing country surrounded by thousands of international guests,” said PRF founder, Henry Wilson, in his opening speech, which marked the beginning of the forum.

At every turn, small groups could be found listening to insight on everything from processing methods to cupping protocols, while also forging connections with those at all stages of the supply chain.

“This is a great opportunity for us to learn about specialty coffee,” said a fourth-generation farmer from Huila who had been learning about the potential of drip coffee bags. “We are using our time here to find out about different varieties and processing methods so we can diversify the selection on our farm.”

A series of world-class speakers presented talks across two stages – one English, the other Spanish – covering a range of topics, including emerging trends in the Middle East, the challenges of launching a coffee shop in a producing country, and the potential for Latin American coffee in Asia.

One highlight in particular was the talk by Julian Cucuñame of CuBa BIOTEC who discussed the importance of controlling variables during coffee processing. A packed room saw attendees sitting on the floor to hear what he had to say.

Nicholas, a producer from Café Sativa, was just one of the people in attendance. “In order for the coffee industry to develop and grow, it needs information, knowledge, and education,” he said. “The talks at PRF serve that purpose, helping producers of all sizes raise their standards and produce high-quality products.”

producer & roaster forum colombia 2022

Direct economic impact

PRF has brought a number of economic benefits to the local industry, both immediate and long term.

In addition to directly employing more than 50 people from around Medellín over the two days, the event is expected to foster an estimated $10.5 million (42,000 million Colombian pesos) in sales and bring more than $300,000 (1,300 million Colombian pesos) directly to the city. Around 200 volunteers are also participating.

“PRF is crucial for connecting all the different actors across the coffee supply chain,” commented a producer who had been attending the Mayorga Coffee stand. “In Colombia, it allows us to generate sales and also understand trends from abroad, because there are so many international visitors.

“However, it is also incredibly important for tourism here. It promotes the city’s reputation as an international coffee hub, not just in Colombia but around the world.”

While PRF has always brought considerable benefits to the local coffee industry, this year is particularly significant as it aids the recovery from several months of pandemic-induced turmoil.

The injection of cash and forging of new business relationships will help the industry bounce back from an immensely challenging period. Attendees look forward to day two of this year’s Producer & Roaster Forum.