REUTERS FOUNDATION VISITS THE FARMING PARTNERS OF COFFEE FOR PEACE

Tala Alngag Bautista and Marivic Dubria respond to the interview questions of Kieran Guilbert of Thomson Reuters Foundation. Balutakay, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

Kieran Guilbert of Thomson Reuters Foundation — the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s biggest news and information provider — visited and interviewed our farming partners and fieldworkers in Mindanao. This foundation establishes strategic partnerships “to tackle some of the world’s most pressing socio-economic issues” engaging businesses, governments, thought leaders and civil society.

Guilbert featured the story of Marivic Dubria as a case of the social impact of CFP’s inclusive development initiatives. Here’s a segment of their report in a recent article published by a national newspaper:


Having learned how to grow, harvest and process high-quality Arabica beans at a time when global demand for coffee is soaring—it is set to hit a record high this year —Dubria exports her crop to buyers as far away as Seattle for at least $5 per kilo.

“But it’s not all about the money—it’s about taking responsibility for the environment and other communities,” Dubria told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in her home on Mount Apo while brewing a pot of thick, aromatic, treacle-like coffee.

Beyond helping coffee growers get a better deal, CfP aims to encourage dialogue between communities, with tensions ranging from colonial-era conflict between native Muslims and Christian settlers to land and resource disputes between ethnic groups.

LAMBUNAO LOCAL GOVERNMENT INVITES OUR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT CONSULTING GROUP

Inclusive Development Consulting Group (IDCG)—Lambunao Exploratory Team: AJ Moldez, Lakan Sumulong, Tala Alngag Bautista

Last 15-17 March 2018, our Inclusive Development Consulting Group (IDCG)  travelled to the Municipality of Lambunao, Iloilo Province —

  • to continue the on-going landscape architecture consultation between AJM Planning and Design and the local government; and,
  • to facilitate an inclusive development workshop among coffee farmers, buyers, and traders there.

The IDCG was composed of Tala Alngag Bautista, AJ Moldez, and Lakan Sumulong.

AJ Moldez, principal at AJM Planning and Design, presented its schemes for the urban design and landscape architecture of the municipality of Lambunao. “Investing in green public spaces,” according to AJ, “has been a priority of Mayor Jason Gonzales.”

AJ Moldez makes his presentation to Mayor Jason Gonzales and the Lambunao Municipality’s officials and administrators.

It was AJ who introduced Coffee For Peace to be a part of this inclusive development consortium who are now serving this town as consultants. AJM has adopted the Peace and Reconciliation Principles and Practices as framework of his landscape architectural projects. “Through design,” he asserts, “the goal is to achieve socio-economic, socio-political and socio-cultural transformation.” He is praying that this IDCG would “journey with more public officials and municipalities in order to make cities in the Philippines beautiful and prosperous places to live in.”

These are the folks who belong to the Champion Farmers Program of Lambunao and who completed the two-day seminar by our IDCG-Lambunao Exploratory Team.

During our initial meeting, Mayor Jason Gonzales shared his vision to rejuvenate the coffee industry in his town. Lambunao used to be Panay Island’s highest supplier of coffee in the 1970s and 80s. Within the Champion Farmers Program of Mayor Gonzales and his team, Coffee For Peace has been invited to explore and to journey with the local government on how Lambunao’s coffee quality and quantity would be improved and be known as a world-class specialty coffee.

 

WE RECEIVED ASEAN’S 2017 PRIVATE SECTOR LEADERSHIP AWARD ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION

Jobelyn ‘Sihaya’ Basas and ‘Tala’ Alngag Bautista (3rd and 4th from left) receive the ‘ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication–Private Sector 2017’ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 06 October 2017.

Coffee For Peace was given the ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication–Private Sector 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Representatives from the Balutakay Coffee Farmers Association (BaCoFA) receive the honor at a simple fellowship at Coffee For Peace Bistro.

Congratulations to our farming partners, barista partners, post-harvest processing partners, investing partners, coffee drinking partners, supplying partners, and management team!

Our barista partners — Redd, Tere, Chacha, Kim, and Edward — were honored during a simple recognition at Coffee For Peace Shop.
Our barista partners, Mark and Jobel, were honored during a simple recognition time at Coffee For Peace Bistro.

Your labor of love and dedication are appreciated by Southeast Asian people and corporations who are with us in advancing rural development and poverty eradication–one community at a time.

We are grateful to Ms Liza Maza of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) who nominated CFP into this Southeast Asian awarding institution.

Ms Liza Maza was the person who nominated Coffee For Peace to this 2017 ASEAN Leadership Award on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication–Private Sector. Ms Maza is a Filipina activist who is the lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission. She was a member of the Philippine House of Representatives, representing the Gabriela Women’s Party. She stands here with Sihaya and Tala who were representing Coffee For Peace, Inc.

Kudos to the CEO of Coffee for Peace, Joji Felicitas Pantoja, for an excellent job of leading and inspiring the whole CFP Team. Once again, we honor our Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) field training facilitators — Clay & June Rojo, Twinkle ‘Tala’ Alngag Bautista, Byron ‘Bee’ Pantoja, Jobee ‘Sihaya’ Basas, Aiza ‘Wanay’ Baluyan — with this award. We express our gratitude for the administrative work of Tyron Ortiz and Chacha Denila Homez. Thank you Tala and Sihaya for representing the whole CFP Team in this event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As all our endeavors are for the farmers, we again dedicate this award to all the farmers in this land. We will continue to pray for your liberation from all kinds of oppression. We will continue to listen, to serve and to work, with your guidance, towards the advancement of justice for the peace of all the families toiling the land.

For this humble, initial victories for the coffee farmers, we give back all the glory to the Great Creator and Provider of all humanity!

COFFEE FOR PEACE IS THE INCLUSIVE BUSINESS WINNER FOR THE PHILIPPINES AT THE ASEAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2017

We are so encouraged to receive another citation from the Asean Business Awards 2017:

ASEAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2017
NATIONAL WINNER, PHILIPPINES
Inclusive Business Category

Coffee for Peace is a social enterprise in the areas of Mt. Apo, Bukidnon, and the Cordillera Administrative Region which envisions Peace Communities practicing relational harmony and enjoying quality life by engaging in a sustainable coffee value chain. It incessantly seeks various ways to economically allow marginalized communities in Mindanao and the Philippines become sustainable. This is not only an approach to sustaining peace efforts but also to give a better alternative to armed struggle and other destructive environmental practices just to bring food on the table.

We dedicate this award to all the farmers in the Philippines.

We will continue to pray for your liberation from all kinds of oppression.

We will continue to listen, to serve and to work, with your guidance, towards the advancement of justice for the peace of all the families toiling the land.

We honor our Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) field training facilitators — Clay & June Rojo, Twinkle ‘Tala’ Alngag Bautista, Byron ‘Bee’ Pantoja, Jobee ‘Sihaya’ Basas, Aiza ‘Wanay’ Baluyan — with this award. We express our gratitude for the administrative work of Tyron Ortiz and Chacha Denila Homez.

Coffee for Peace is also a finalist all over Southeast Asia in the ‘Inclusive Business’ category.

Our CEO, Ms Joji Felicitas Pantoja, shared the story of Coffee for Peace, Inc. before the participants at the Inclusive Business Summit, ASEAN Business Awards 2017. Marriott Hotel, Manila, Philippines. 06 September 2017.

 

‘CFP HELPS ACHIEVE U.N. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS,’ SAYS PBSP

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)

FINAL BUILDING PLANS AND RELEASE OF FUNDS HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR ‘KAPEYAPAAN’ IN VALENCIA CITY

An architect’s perspective of the building plan that will house the Peace and Reconciliation movement in Eastern Mindanao

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.

Architect Gloryrose Dy Metilla, principal at Swito Designs, presents the final building plans to me.

This simple structure will be the home of Kapeyapaan Coffee KioskPeace and Reconciliation (PAR) Movement in Eastern MindanaoKalinaw Youth Movement, and BeyondBorders Christian Community.

Kapeyapaan is a division of Coffee For Peace, Inc. for our low-cost shops yet serving high-quality coffee.

Joji Felicitas Pantoja, CEO
Coffee For Peace, Inc.

BACOFA EXPORTS FIRST BATCH OF GREEN COFFEE TO THE U.S.A.

The representatives of Mount Apo coffee farmers are delivering two tons of their fresh, hand-picked coffee cherries. 20 October 2014. Coffee For Peace Processing Yard, Davao City.

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”.

A NEW PARTNERSHIP BEGINS BETWEEN COFFEE FOR PEACE AND D’ CUP COFFEE REPUBLIC

L-R Donnie Friolo, Dann (Lakan), Adette Purto, myself, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo, Ramon Quevedo: The Koinonia Group introduced Coffee for Peace to D’ Cup Coffee Republic. 22 April 2017, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Last 22 April 2017, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo — along with her husband Ramon Quevedo and our mutual friend, Donnie Friolo — introduced us to Adette Purto, Chair of D’ Cup Coffee Republic in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. After exchanging our stories during that initial meeting, I felt Adette has been a long-time friend and sister! The similarities and diversity of our dreams are so complimentary! I felt we, at Coffee for Peace, found a partner and a sister company.

A NOTE FROM D’ CUP COFFEE REPUBLIC

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?”

Adette and I felt we have been friends for a long time even though this was our first time to meet each other; we’re now sisters-in-vision. 22 April 2017, 1800H-2100H, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

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.

In 12 May 2017, we were visited by our partners from D’ Cup Coffee Republic, led by their Chairperson, Adette Purto. Here, we took some moments to capture their visit to the Coffee for Peace Bistro in Davao: L-R Sihaya, Tala, Elysse, Arlyn, Adette, myself, and Lakan (Dann).

Joji “Lakambini Mapayapa” Pantoja, CEO
Coffee For Peace, Inc.

CFP DEMONSTRATED Q-GRADING BEFORE COFFEE INDUSTRY FOLKS AND MEDIA REPORTERS

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.

This is part of an on-going quality enhancement program of Coffee For Peace that started in 2008. At CFP, we cheer-up one another by shouting a borrowed term from the Japanese: Kaizen!

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.

Indeed, peace is the prime product of CFP, and world-class quality coffee is its vehicle.

BYRON PANTOJA PASSES CQI’S ARABICA QUALITY GRADER CERTIFICATION

Byron Bee Pantoja, our Production Manager, passed the examinations as a Certified Quality Arabica Grader by the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).

According to the CQI website:

An Arabica Q Grader is an individual who is credentialed by the CQI to grade and score coffees utilizing standards developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA).

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.

The Mindanao Daily Mirror featured Byron’s story in their December 27, 2016 issue:

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.