- Producer & Roaster Forum will return to Colombia for its seventh instalment on the 14th & 15th September
- The No Filter panel series will be disruptive and innovative, focussing on the most pressing issues in the coffee industry
- The new panel structure ties into PRF’s wider focus on education and knowledge sharing
PRODUCER & ROASTER Forum will return to Colombia for its seventh instalment this September, where a new series of panel discussions will be held.
The No Filter panel series will take place on the morning of the second day, providing a neutral, independent platform for panellists to discuss some of the coffee industry’s most pressing topics.
“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,” says Henry Wilson, the founder of PDG Global.
“Platforms like these in the coffee industry have been somewhat limited in recent years. However, these controversial and polarising conversations help to drive specialty coffee forward.”
Potential panellists are able to apply to offer their thoughts and opinions on the following 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?
Tackling real challenges
The No Filter panel series will serve as a space for discussion about some of the most prominent issues in coffee production today.
“In specialty coffee in particular, it can be common to come across the same opinions and perspectives on certain topics,” Henry 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,” Henry says. “It’s imperative that for successful growth of the coffee industry, we remain open-minded to different ideas and perspectives.”
The three topics this panel series will tackle help to guide the conversation towards some of the most urgent issues in coffee production today.
As part of this, the panel will welcome speakers with opposing opinions and will encourage them to defend them. According to Henry, this is where real, valuable debate on these topics can occur.
“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 says.
PRF’s role is to act as a facilitator, offering a neutral platform through which panellists can have a structured debate. The panel will be completely independent – no institution will be represented to argue a particular side of the discussion.
By offering a neutral platform, the No Filter panel will host challenging conversations which lead to genuine solutions.
Strong opinions are encouraged
The new panel structure ties into PRF’s wider focus on education and knowledge sharing, with a fundamental belief that the coffee industry benefits from a range of different viewpoints.
“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 and independent platforms like the No Filter panel series.”
PRF believes that those who have a strong opinion should have the chance to express it – but they should also be prepared to defend it, too.
“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 establishing an echo chamber.”
Platforms for discussions like these have been limited in recent years, at a time when there are many problems to solve. The No Filter panel series will look to address this, and seek to use these discussions to generate valuable, important debate about the future of the coffee industry.
Please note: PRF does not cover any travel, accommodation, or other costs for speakers and panellists.