Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) cited CoffeeForPeace.Com as one of the inclusive businesses helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Philippines.
We express our gratitude first of all to the Great Creator, as well as to our farming partners, post-harvest processing partners, quality grading partners, packaging and marketing partners, coffee shop operating partners, impact investing partners, and the product consuming-appreciating partners!
Nothing is impossible!
Coffee for Peace has improved the lives of indigenous communities, Muslims and migrant workers through its peacebuilding and economic development activities. By enhancing their coffee-growing practices, local farmers command higher prices for their specialty coffee. The company aims to increase the income of farmers it works with by 300 percent and establish long-lasting livelihood opportunities. These farmers then mentor other farmers and set up local coffee kiosks to raise consumers’ awareness of the unique taste of Philippine coffee, helping communities take pride in local produce. Given the high demand for high-quality coffee globally, Coffee for Peace is planning to scale up its Inclusive Business model to more regions.
New Horizons: How Inclusive Business is Helping Achieve the SDGs in the Philippines (Philippine Business for Social Progress, p. 35)
In behalf of Coffee For Peace, Inc. (CFP), I’m happy to report that I have signed the final plans of a small structure to be built in Valencia City. This is made financially possible through an impact partnership with GiversTrust, Inc.
I’m grateful for the release of this fund to start the building construction next week. This building is expected to be completed within six months based on a Memorandum of Agreement between Coffee For Peace, PeaceBuilders Community, GiversTrust, and our architects, Swito Designs.
This simple structure will be the home of Kapeyapaan Coffee Kiosk, Peace and Reconciliation(PAR) Movement in Eastern Mindanao, Kalinaw Youth Movement, and BeyondBorders Christian Community.
Our Mount Apo farming partners are one of the community-network of well-trained and justly-treated farmers who supply us with their premium 100% arabica coffee paid at fair traded prices.
We’re so happy to see the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BaCoFA) from Mt. Apo grow from being coffee cherry suppliers, to becoming post-harvest coffee processors, and now they have become green coffee bean exporters.
BaCoFA grew from 15 families to 75 farming households in 4 years.
These coffee sacks are their initial export quality products. And they are determined to produce more! These BaCoFA folks are indeed developing into being effective, self-sustaining “farmerpreneurs”.
D’ Cup Coffee Republic is a book cafe and events venue in Mandaluyong City inside Pioneer Street Market. It has a spacious dining area that can comfortably accommodate 80 persons, plus a book lounge area good for 20 persons, and an enclosed function hall good for up to 100 persons, making it a perfect venue for meetings, workshop classes, special gatherings. View our venue and function hall which you can reserve online. We also invite you to visit our site regularly for workshops, classes, and other events. [Facebook Page]
When Elizabeth arranged the meeting between us and Adette’s team, we were simply expecting to sell our coffee brand to this coffee shop. Our presentation was scheduled for only an hour. After our 45-minute story-telling and presentation, she kept asking questions — deep, penetrating questions that went beyond the quality, price, and origin of our coffee. Her questions focused on peace and reconciliation, on the dream about contributing to a God-centered, radical, nonviolent, transformation of our people and our land.
The meeting went beyond two hours.
We didn’t say good bye. We immediately talked about “What’s next?”
Koinonia Group. Elizabeth, Ramon, and Donnie are part of the leadership of the Koinonia Group. I’m grateful to these faithful friends and partners whom we consider as our long-time community. Koinonia Group started in 1982 when Dann and I were serving as community organizing workers in the City of Olongapo. I was raising our little children and Dann was a young social science teacher at the Columban College. A group of outstanding students became regular visitors in our apartment. Elizabeth was one of them. We soon became a fellowship of followers of Christ working for justice and liberation of our people from the oppressive dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. We referred to our liberation-oriented activist band as Koinonia Group.
Ramon and Elizabeth met in a workplace abroad, got married, and returned to the Philippines to continue their careers, and later started an entrepreneurial endeavor in Metro Manila.
Donnie was Dann’s fellow leader at the Koinonia Group since our days in Olongapo.
We’re now scattered all over the world. But we’re still connected. The long-distance connections grew stronger because of social media. We all update each other of our lives, family development, career development, and respective ministries.
Coffee for Peace’s journey with D’ Cup Coffee Republic. Our relationship with Adette and her team at D’ Cup Coffee Republic has been growing fast. Last 12 May 2017, she and her team visited us in Davao and observed the operation of our coffee processing yard. We also compared notes on the similarities and differences of our respective coffee shops based on our differing contexts.
As I write this blog, both of our teams are talking on how our social businesses can work together to advance Peace Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices together so we can establish at least one PAR community in each of the 81 provinces in this country.
Joji “Lakambini Mapayapa” Pantoja, CEO
Coffee For Peace, Inc.
Byron Bee Pantoja, our Production Manager and Q-Grader, showed how quality grading was done before the coffee industry leaders and media representatives in Davao City. This event was featured in a news article about the President of the Philippines declaring to sign an Executive Order to launch Philippine coffee brand.
The said article quoted Byron:
Daniel Byron Pantoja, one of the Q graders said that with the growing awareness of the public to specialty coffee, he sees people getting inspired with the Filipino farmers who now begin to grow quality coffee that could compete with international brands.
“It’s a domino effect,” he stressed as he said other farmers are now encouraged to grow specialty coffee.
Joji Pantoja, our President and CEO, affirms Byron’s public representation of CFP. In a text message, she said:
A paradigm shift is needed on how Filipinos appreciate good coffee: our farmers must be willing to accept quality processing methods; and, our consumers must be educated and must be exposed to the various tastes of good coffee.
Let us continue to promote peace as we drink our own Philippine grown and processed coffee.
Currently, there are no formal requirements to enroll. However, the Q Grader Exam is not a course for inexperienced or new cuppers; it is an advanced level course. It is highly recommended that you practice your skills by signing up for SCAA Skill Building Workshops offered throughout the year, including SCAA events.
The course for becoming a Q Arabica Grader prepares participants for the 22 tests they must pass to become a certified Q Grader. The tests relate to an individual’s ability to accurately and consistently cup and grade coffee according to SCAA cupping and grading standards and protocols, including a thorough understanding of the SCAA cupping form.
A student who passes these 22 tests is given a professional license as a Q Grader. This license must be renewed every 3 years by attending a Q Grader calibration to ensure the Q Grader is up-to-date.
Coffee For Peace also congratulates the four candidates from among Byron’s batch who also passed this exam.
Some coffee growers and processors from Davao City were promoted as Q graders and cuppers.
Department of Trade and Industry-Compostela Valley (DTI-ComVal) Provincial Director Lucky Siegfried Balleque in an interview said of the 15 coffee growers who attended the training held at the Equilibrium Laboratory in Dacudao St. from December 12 to 17, only four growers and processors from Davao passed.
Balleque named Byron Bee Pantoja of Coffee for Peace as among the four coffee growers who are now certified Q Graders. He said Pantoja passed the examinations as a Certified Quality Arabica Grader by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). He however did not name the other three Q graders.
“If you want to know what grade your coffee is they can cup and grade them for you now,” Balleque said.
The staff of PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace had our regular Monday morning worship and reflection time at the Coffee For Peace Bistro. Afterwards, they were given a treat to experience being valued clients by the CFP Bistro serving partners and barista partners.
The other staff members who were doing urgent errands and other baristas who were on duty at the CFP Shop (the original coffee shop) will be scheduled as guests this afternoon after their duties.
Last February, Rev. Luis Daniel Pantoja, President and CEO of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and also the Chairman of the Board of Coffee For Peace, visited the village of Sumacher as a fulfillment of a promise he made to the elders of this tribe.
Then, last April 18-20, another Peace and Reconciliation Community is born!
This is a continuation of a series of events that we believe is harmonized by the Creator Afuniyan:
In 2014, Ferdinand Chulsi and Josie Alngag joined in an orientation for coffee farming in Bugnay, Tinglayan. They invited the PBCI team to give the same training to Sumacher.
In 2015, Jeanette Bernawi Domallig and Josie joined the Peace and Reconciliation training. They embraced the peace theology and invited us to give also the same training.
This year, we finally went to Sumacher and 20 people joined the training on Peace and Reconciliation and coffee farming.
But the amazing part of it was that, even before the training, land was already prepared for the Arabica coffee. 3,000 citrus seedlings were planted as the cover trees. It spoke volumes about their commitment!
The PAR team in Sumacher envisions their coffee farms to produce global quality coffee which will be an icon to tell their story as a people.
Through a process of active listening, we were given the privilege of having a grasp of the dreams and visions of the Sumacher people. This listening process is consistent with the philosophy of cross-cultural interaction every time we interact with the Indigenous Peoples.
We are being taught by the Indigenous People in the Philippines to join them as they journey towards their right to self determination. We will support their view of their future and we will help preserve and nurture their respective Ancestral Domains.
We have learned to respect the dreams of their elders and we are enriched by listening to the visions of their young people. We will walk with them towards their dream of a sustainable livelihood that respects their culture and dignity as a people.
We are seeing a lot of Indigenous People living on mountains higher than 500 meters above sea level who have existing coffee trees. We will share a coffee processing technology that would meet the highest local and global standards at Fair Trade prices.
We are invited to look to the future when all the Indigenous People in this land are trading fairly in local and global markets. We will assist in developing their entrepreneurial skills by practising direct trade philosophies and inclusive business models to the coffee industry.
We are facing the reality that our resources and the money earned, may lead to conflict, if we as a community do not prepare or plan for our financial future. We are invited to journey with community leaders and their people in basic conflict resolution approaches and financial management strategies, to ensure the sustainability of their culture and resources.
So, as the Creator, whom the Kalinga people know as Afunyian, continues to allow us to serve the Kalinga people, we will pursue this inclusive development partnership with the Sumacher tribe. We submit our whole being to the Creator regarding this journey.
March 3-4, 2016. A group of 25 farmers from the Paquibato District of Davao City attended a 2-day Coffee For Peace Training at the PeaceBuilders Community Center where we train our prospective coffee farming partners about ‘peace’ and ‘coffee’. This is done within the framework of Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices.
The participants were pre-qualified based on farming experience, community leadership, and ability to share this particular training back to their respective communities.
The training was conducted by Joji Pantoja (CEO), Jobelyn Basas (ICT), and Byron Pantoja (Bean Trading) with the support of the whole CFP-PBCI family.
This Farmers’ Training Program by Coffee For Peace is an on-going Inclusive Development Initiative of PeaceBuilders Community.
In Davao City, we do this training program in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Davao City Field Office (DTI-DCFO) and Councillor Marissa Salvador-Abella of Davao City.
Twinkle Alngag Bautista is convinced that she is called to build a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community and Coffee For Peace (CFP) social business in Kalinga as part of her life’s calling and mission.
Coffee is already a popular product here. Local Robusta coffee is brewed every morning in every household, and kept all day in a thermos bottle to be drank and offered to visitors and passersby.
Coffee For Peace in Kalinga would have two practical objectives:
To advocate for the farming of Arabica coffee (instead of Robusta) in the highlands since Kalinga Province has many mountains. Arabica is in demand nationally and internationally. The needed shade for Arabica coffee plants would contribute to the needed reforestation of the highlands.
To train the current Robusta farmers in quality farming, thus raising their home production to export quality. This way, the farmers could sell their coffee produce at a fair price.
PAR Kalinga, although still in its first steps phase, already has a full schedule in two great fields.
The first field is the preservation of the indigenous traditions and culture. Among the main riches of the Cordilleras are the presence, culture and history of their indigenous people. The Kalingas have customary peace processes, traditions of hospitality and solidarity, and a strong relationship with the spiritual world. But they are disregarded by the mainstream lowland culture. In the minds of many Filipinos, the Kalinga’s history of head hunting is highlighted because of cultural prejudice. Lowlanders tend to turn this exceptional practice as if this is the Kalinga’s only characteristic.
The second field of work for PAR Kalinga is seeking to help in the transformation of the political, economic and social injustices in the Cordillera Region. The Cordilleras are full of natural resources, but have been one of the poorer provinces of the Philippines for years. Their riches—gold mines, forests, pure spring water, streams—are drained for the good of the Manila-based central government. However, the Cordillera’s provinces reportedly receive less funding from the government than all the other provinces in the Philippines. A promise of autonomy for the Cordilleras had been negotiated in 1986, after years of fighting from the Cordillera People’s Alliance – Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPA-CPLA) but the government now considers the agreement closed, after what CPA regards as foul play. Tension is strongly felt by those who fought for autonomy, and PAR Kalinga has been asked to help in advocating for the cause.
Twinkle and her immediate PAR accomplices—her mother Rebecca, her grandmother, her aunties Malou and Letty, and her uncle Johnny Ada-ol—have many dreams for Kalinga. Twinkle is looking forward to being able to work full time for PAR Kalinga and make those dreams come true. The first dream is a coffee shop in downtown Tabuk, that would serve Coffee for Peace products with the traditional Kalinga delicacies. The furniture, the designs, the artifacts in the main room would tell of Kalinga Indigenous People. The main room would be big enough to host meetings and PAR trainings. On the longer term, another coffee shop would be built further in other places, together with a coffee nursery and a coffee processing facility, in an eco-village preserving the Kalinga way of life. The village would consist of traditional octagonal houses, where weaving, dancing, playing the nose-flute, and other native arts and crafts could be taught to visitors. It would be a place of peace, and coffee—and its aromas would spread to the whole Kalinga province.