PRF Colombia announces speaker line-up for 14 & 15 September 2023


Following a call for applications in April 2023, Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) – the world’s largest producer-focused event in the coffee industry – has announced the first speakers for PRF Colombia.

The two-day forum will take place on 14 & 15 September 2023 at the Plaza Mayor venue in Medellín, Colombia. This will be the second time PRF is held here, after a successful event in 2022 which attracted thousands of visitors.

This year’s forum is sure to be the same – with thousands of producers, traders, roasters, baristas, and other industry professionals expected to attend.

At every PRF event, a carefully curated panel of speakers discuss some of the most pressing and important issues in the global coffee industry. Alongside these lectures and presentations, there are also many other activities taking place at PRF Colombia – including panels, workshops, cuppings, competitions, and more.

Read on to find out who the speakers will be at PRF Colombia in September 2023.

Learn more about PRF Colombia here.

Albert Scalla presents at PRF El Salvador.

Why Colombia?

Although many different coffee professionals attend PRF, the event is one of few in the industry which focuses primarily on producers – placing them at the forefront of important conversations.

Earlier this year, PRF El Salvador was held at the Salamanca Exhibition Centre in San Salvador. The event welcomed attendees from over 70 countries, including Honduras, Colombia, China, and the US.

The overall goal of PRF is to empower producers and drive green coffee sales in the host country, as well as championing Latin America as a global coffee knowledge hub. 

Bob Fish is the CEO of Biggby Coffee. He attended PRF Colombia in 2022 as a speaker to discuss franchise expansion and growth in the coffee industry.

“I loved the presence of so many producers at PRF,” he said. “I enjoyed all of the speakers, as well as sharing information in both English and Spanish. 

“Producers need this kind of event,” he added. “This was my first PRF, but it won’t be my last.”

As part of the focus on producers, speakers and panellists at the two-day forum discuss some of the most important issues that the coffee industry faces today, as well as in the near future. Moreover, speakers and attendees are encouraged to share potential solutions to these issues as part of these conversations.

Eduardo Choza gives a lecture at PRF El Salvador.

Announcing the speakers at PRF Colombia

Every year, PRF invites leading figures from across the coffee supply chain to share their knowledge and experiences in speeches and presentations. In the process, they also discuss key topics and issues 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 said. “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 at PRF Colombia

This year, several Latin American coffee professionals will speak at the event, covering a range of topics. These are:

  • Export factoring: An alternative for scaling sales in the coffee sector (Adriana Quiceno – RTS International, Colombia)
  • 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)
  • Transitioning to organic agriculture: The path to differentiation for your coffee farm? (Oscar Alonzo – Finca Cual Bicicleta, Honduras)
  • Adding value at origin: The economic impact of coffee roasting and processing (Luis Velez – Amor Perfecto, Colombia)
  • What should a producer consider when they start roasting coffee? (Rodrigo Jaeger – Black Drop, Chile)
  • Revitalising the coffee sector with younger generations at origin (Ana Maria Donneys – Café Primitivo, Colombia)
  • 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)
  • Wastewater treatment for smallholder coffee farmers: A sustainable alternative (Patricia Tello Reategui – TechnoServe, Peru)
  • Biomass management on coffee farms: A strategy for optimising production and quality (Ángela Barrero – La Bodega de la Finca, Colombia)

Other presentations

There will also be more lectures and presentations from international coffee professionals: 

  • Using invasive microorganisms for exotic fermentation: Is there a risk for the environment? (Andrés Ospina – Color of Nature Group, Japan)
  • The rise of exotics: Unveiling China’s growing enthusiasm for specialty coffee (Jason Kew – Kew Specialty Coffee, China)
  • Embracing Latin American identity: Embedding culture into your business (José Guzmán – Kofra Coffee, UK)
  • Creating an inspired menu with cold brew (Julia Leach – Toddy, US)
  • Your coffee delivered right! The importance of successful trade execution in specialty and commercial coffee (Konstantinos Vallianos – Kafea Terra, Greece)
  • 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)
  • Exploring the opportunities & challenges in sourcing competition coffees – panel discussion (Olivia Morris – Balzac Brothers, US and Vladislav Demonenko – Kolo Coffee, Germany)
  • Elevating flavour profiles and quality at scale for coffee producers (Santiago Lopez – The Colombian Coffee Bar and Roastery, Canada)
  • A roaster’s guide to entering the Eastern European market (Zoran Stanojevic – Kafeterija, Serbia)

Other confirmed speakers include Martin Mayorga and Eduardo Choza of Mayorga Coffee, Ricardo Pereira of Ally Coffee, and Albert Scalla of StoneX.

A panel discussion at PRF El Salvador.

Other events & activities

Alongside lectures, PRF Colombia attendees can also participate in interactive workshops at the event. These will be hosted by Mayorga Coffee, Toddy, StoneX, and Sigma Advisers.

Christos Sotiros is the Category Executive & Master Barista at Nestlé Professional. He is also the 2023 Swiss Barista Champion, and spoke on the How Is The Retail Coffee Market Changing? panel at PRF Colombia in 2022.

“I truly believe PRF is one of the best events I have been to as it brings value to producers and roasters,” he said. “It’s very educational and inspirational for all attendees – it changed my perspective and gave me new ideas for the future.”

There will also be cupping sessions hosted by Ally Coffee, !Fest Coffee Mission, Those Coffee People, Global Cafés, and Cata Cafe Export

This year, PRF Colombia will host the third Toddy Cold Brew Championship and the second Global Roasting Contest. The format of the Global Roasting Contest is unprecedented in the coffee industry, with all attendees able to taste competing coffees at the Brew Bar and vote for their favourite.

More details about the new Olla Coffee Championship – which will be held at PRF Colombia for the first time – will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Introducing the new No Filter panel series

On the morning of the second day at PRF, the No Filter panel series will be held. This is a groundbreaking discussion platform for industry experts to have difficult and challenging – but also necessary – discussions.

This year, panellists can choose from the following three panel discussion 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?

If you’re interested in taking part in the No Filter panel series at PRF Colombia, please apply by 31 July 2023. To apply, please fill out the application form in English here and in Spanish here.

All panellists need to have already purchased a ticket to PRF Colombia. They will also need to be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

A panel discussion at PRF El Salvador.

PRF’s return to Colombia on 14 & 15 September is set to be even bigger than last year’s event. 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.

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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