Reflecting on MTPak’s partnership with PRF 

Tori Taylor
February 8, 2024
MTPak Coffee, PRF 2024, Producer and Roasters Forum

Once again, MTPak Coffee will be taking part in the seventh edition of the Producer & Roaster Forum. Following a successful visit in 2019, PRF 2024 is set to return to Guatemala City between 7 and 8 March. 

The event aims to unite coffee professionals from around the globe to nurture long-term commercial relationships and partnerships. Since launching in 2016, PRF has provided an essential platform for the global coffee community, from traders and exporters to roasters and farmers. The annual event focuses on one origin country, with previous instalments held in Colombia, El Salvador, Brazil, and Honduras.

Having been a sponsor for the last five events, MTPak Coffee has developed a long-standing partnership with PRF. This year, the brand is not only serving as a Gold Sponsor but also the official STE Roaster sponsor for the event. 

To learn more about the history behind this partnership, I spoke to Juan De León, the Head of Marketing at Producer & Roaster Forum and some specialty coffee roasters who recently attended PRF for the first time. 

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The importance of coffee events such as PRF

With eight coffee-producing regions, Guatemala is a rainbow of coffee profiles in the heart of the Mayan world. Coffee has been grown for export in the country since the 1850s. According to World Coffee Research, coffee remains the second most important agricultural export after sugar. 

Notably, the local coffee sector employs over 125,000 Guatemalan families and around 44% of the coffee is produced by smallholders. Thanks to the region’s nearly 300 unique microclimates, Guatemalan coffees boast a diverse range of flavours. Beyond this, almost all coffee is Arabica and 98% is shade grown.

Nestled in the heart of this incredible landscape, PRF Guatemala 2024 aims to foster strong and lasting relationships between producers and roasters. Additionally, the event will address real issues, and promote innovation in the sector. More importantly, the event aims to generate $13.5 million in green coffee sales, which will benefit over half a million people working directly or indirectly in coffee production in the country.

“Meeting coffee roasters and producers or visiting our clients has become an essential part of our strategy to strengthen relationships,” explains brand founder, Mark Zhou. “We’re focusing on improving sustainability along the entire coffee supply chain. Food and beverage packaging has a huge impact on the environment. As a coffee packaging company, we firmly believe we must join the discussion and actively support all coffee professionals.” 

Nick Hauser, the founder of Indah Coffee Company, attended the Producer and Roasters Forum in Columbia. “It was a great experience pairing us up with farms which are sustainable and connecting us with farms in line with things we were looking at,” Nick says. “I was blown away by the level of quality of sustainability and the number of female producers and female-owned farms that are doing cutting-edge things with coffee.” 

MTPak Coffee, PRF 2024, Producer and Roasters Forum

Why MTPak Coffee has become the Official STE Roaster Sponsor 

Created specifically for coffee roasters and green buyers, the Sourcing Trip Experience (STE) is a four-day trip to coffee-growing regions of Guatemala, followed by the PRF forum in Guatemala City.

During the STE, coffee roasters and buyers from around the world will have the unique opportunity to gain a direct and immersive insight into coffee production in Guatemala. The event, which will take place from 3 to 6 March, allows guests to observe harvesting and processing techniques, travel to various mills, and join roundtable discussions with coffee producers.

“The aim of the STE is to unite coffee roasters and producers at origin,” explains Juan. “The roundtable discussions, for instance, are a valuable part of the experience. They  create opportunities on the coffee trading side, as roasters learn the implications of wet and dry mills, and discover the costs of bringing these outstanding Guatemalan coffees to the market.”

Juan notes the STE aims to create value for coffee producers as well roasters. “Many coffee farms in Latin America lack the technology found in Dubai, for instance. These discussions allow producers to learn about current innovations and international market trends. They also create a middle ground where green coffee buyers can have a better idea of the work behind the coffee-producing steps.”

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MTPak And PRF: What does the future hold? 

“As packaging designers and manufacturers, we focus on lowering the impact of coffee packaging on the environment, while also offering quality, accessible, and tailor-made products,” Mark explains. As a PRF Sponsor, MTPak Coffee has been the takeaway coffee cup provider for several PRF events. 

More so, during PRF Colombia, MTPak Coffee served as both the Education and Cupping Room Sponsor. “I think it’s important to gather information and share it with the community if we want the coffee sector to grow and improve,” Mark explains. “As long as there is transparency and honesty, we can see a domino effect in the coffee supply chain: when cafés and roasters thrive, we thrive, importers and exporters thrive, producers thrive.”

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of another incredible PRF event,” he adds. “It’s exciting to see how the event has grown over the years. It has impacted the lives of thousands of coffee professionals. I can’t wait to see what the STE will bring, and how we can use this knowledge to better the specialty coffee industry across the supply chain.” 

“We think a commitment to sustainability shouldn’t focus only on how coffee is produced and sourced, but also on how it’s packed, roasted, and distributed,” Mark adds. 

Don’t miss out on the world’s largest producer-focused coffee event. Check out who will be on the speaking panel for the event and register for your ticket today.

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Tori Taylor
Tori Taylor

Victoria is a highly experienced content creator, writer, and editor based out of South Africa. With the experience gained by working in newsrooms and writing for lifestyle magazines, she is now focussed on creating insightful and relatable content for the specialty coffee community.

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