PRF El Salvador 2023 attracts global attendees to producer-focused event

prf 2023
  • Producer & Roaster Forum returned to El Salvador for its sixth instalment
  • Attendees travelled from more than 70 countries, including Honduras, Colombia, China, and the US
  • Keynote speakers gave lectures on a range of insightful topics

PRODUCER & ROASTER Forum (PRF) returned to El Salvador for the first time since 2016 with a stand-out array of speakers, workshops, and panel discussions.

The world’s largest producer-focused event, now in its sixth instalment, was held in the Salamanca Exhibition Center in San Salvador and drew thousands of visitors from across the globe, including from Europe, China, the US, Kenya, and Colombia.

The CEO and founder of PDG Global, Henry Wilson, marked the start of the event with an opening speech in the main auditorium, in which he addressed the importance of bringing international events to coffee-producing countries.

A series of insightful talks followed: Sam Corra of ONA Coffee discussed the north-south divide in the supply chain; Lewis Harding of Coffee Exchange shed light on the purchasing priorities of Chinese roasters; and Albert Scalla of StoneX explored the outlook for coffee prices in 2023. 

Meanwhile, targeted educational workshops held throughout the day attracted large crowds, with topics covering the influence of temperature on extraction, the importance of water in brewing, and how sample roasting can be better adapted to producers.

An educational round table discussion was also hosted by the team from Mayorga Coffee, which is running a scholarship programme that enables 500 smallholder producers to attend the event, and receive pre-event networking and negotiating training. Mayorga Coffee CEO, Martin Mayorga, commented on the importance of the initiative:

“One of the things that PRF is built around is including producers in the conversation. But it’s not always realistic for producers to be able to afford the logistics, the meals, and the hotels to come to these events. The scholarship really allows them to join the conversation, which is critical to the future of coffee.”


Uniting the coffee supply chain

Since launching seven years ago, PRF has helped unite the coffee supply chain. With previous events held in Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia, it has given producers across Latin America an unparalleled platform for sharing insight and forming relationships with key international stakeholders in face-to-face conversations.

Booths occupied a large area of the Salamanca Exhibition Center, showcasing the international reach of the event. Some of the most influential brands in the industry were on show, including Mayorga Coffee, Toddy, Ally Coffee, MTPak Coffee, and BWT water+more.

Henry, who launched PRF after noticing a lack of producer-focused events, said he was excited to see how the global scope of the event had developed. “It is a real privilege to host an event like this in El Salvador. Each year PRF has grown and grown, with a vision to connect and build meaningful business relationships between the most important stakeholders in the coffee industry.

“We’re delighted to see people travelling from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, the UK, Serbia, China, the US – people from over 70 countries are here.”

Last year, PRF Colombia, which was held in Medellín, generated an estimated $10 million in sales and injected more than $300,000 into the local economy. This year is expected to reach similar levels of success, with attendees in the thousands.

However, it wasn’t exclusively about business. There was also a lot of excitement around competitions, as PRF hosted both the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Championship and the Global Roasting Contest, in addition to El Salvador’s National Barista and Brewers Cup competitions.

Publicity around the two-day event has helped shine the spotlight on El Salvador’s coffee-producing powers and the vast potential it has to continue competing on the world stage.

PRF will return for its second instalment in Colombia later this year.