SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Producer & Roaster Forum (PRF) returned to El Salvador for the first time since 2016 with an impressive line-up 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. It drew thousands of visitors from across the globe, including from Europe, China, the US, Kenya, and Colombia.
PRF returns to El Salvador
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 achieve similar levels of success.
The CEO and founder of PDG Global, Henry Wilson, emphasised the importance of bringing international events to coffee-producing countries in his opening speech. “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.”
A series of insightful talks filled the day. Sam Corra of ONA Coffee discussed the north-south divide in the supply chain; Matt Swenson of Nestlé shed light on the evolution of the US coffee market and Albert Scalla of StoneX explored the outlook for coffee prices in 2023.
Targeted educational workshops held throughout the day also 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 later 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 training on networking and negotiating. Mayorga Coffee CEO, Martin Mayorga, said:
“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.”
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 and showcased 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.
There was also a lot of excitement around competitions, as PRF hosted both the Cold Brew and Roasting Championships, 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.