PRF returns to Colombia to hold more important, challenging discussions

  • PRF will return to Colombia on September 14 & 15
  • The No Filter panel series will be held for the first time at PRF Colombia
  • This innovative panel series will focus on some of the most urgent issues that coffee producers face today

PRODUCER & ROASTER Forum will be back in Colombia on September 14 & 15, 2023. Held at Plaza Mayor in Medellín, this will be the second time the two-day event has taken place in Colombia.

PRF is a world-leading, producer-focused event that unites farmers and roasters in a coffee-producing country every time it is held. Underpinned by a focus on sharing knowledge at origin, the aim is simple – to recognise and celebrate producers’ expertise, drive innovation, and facilitate green coffee sales. 

As with previous events, there will be an exhibition floor, as well as a lineup of expert speakers and panels, workshops, cupping sessions, and competitions. However, for the first time, PRF Colombia 2023 will host an innovative new panel series called “No Filter”.

People listening at PRF

No Filter panel series

The No Filter panel series will take place on the morning of PRF Colombia’s second day, offering a neutral, independent platform for panellists to discuss some of the most pressing challenges facing coffee producers today.

“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.

There will be three topics:

  • 9:00AM – 9:35AM: Commercial or specialty: Which has a bigger impact on the producers’ livelihoods? 
    Panellists: Rubén Gallozzi Cálix, Scarlette Soanny Zeron, and Luis Velez
  • 9:40AM – 10:15AM: What is more important: The price per pound or the cost of production?
    Panellists: Piotr Kotarba, Jonathan Moral, and Juan Ricardo Gómez
  • 10:20AM – 10:55AM: Beyond microlots: Every coffee has a market
    Panellists: Olga Cuellar Gomez, Francesco Sanapo, and Dale Harris

PRF’s role is to act as a facilitator, offering a neutral platform for panellists to have a structured discussion. As such, the panel will operate completely independently to ensure no institutional bias, encouraging challenging conversations that lead to genuine solutions.

“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.”

Differing opinions

No Filter will welcome speakers with differing opinions, so they can engage in challenging yet meaningful dialogue that pushes the industry forward.

“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.

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

In recent years, opportunities for these discussions have been limited despite the urgency of the issues that need addressing. The No Filter panel series aims to fill this gap by facilitating valuable and important debates about the future of the coffee industry.

“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.”

PRF will also feature speeches, presentations, and other panels from industry leaders who work at various stages of the coffee supply chain.

Cupping at PRF

Competitions at PRF Colombia

As well as speeches, panel discussions, cuppings, and workshops, four coffee championships will be held at PRF Colombia this year. 

After its success at PRF El Salvador earlier this year, the second edition of the Global Coffee Roasted Contest will be held at the event, sponsored by !FEST Coffee Mission. ROEST will be providing the equipment for the event. The competition’s unique judging format incorporates both attendee votes and a panel of judges to determine the winner.

Practice and judging rounds will start from 13 September, with the winner announced on 15 September.

PRF Colombia will also host the third Toddy Cold Brew Championship, featuring sixteen competitors creating cold brew-based beverages. Drink preparation will begin on 14 September, with the judging round and winner announced on 15 September.

The third competition is the Campeonato de Olla, brought to the event by Amor Perfecto. This will celebrate the traditional Latin American olla coffee pot, taking place on 14 September – with the winner to be announced the following day.

Finally, the Fibtex Championship recognises the hard work of Latin American producers and showcases quality green coffee packaging. Submitted green coffee samples will be roasted and cupped ahead of PRF Colombia, and the winner will be announced on 15 September.

To find out more about tickets for the Sourcing Trip Experience, a separate package that also includes a ticket to the two-day PRF event, you can find more information here.

You can stay up to date with all announcements for PRF Colombia here, or by subscribing to the newsletter here.

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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