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.

 

CFP IS A MEMBER OF THE NEWLY-ESTABLISHED ‘PHILIPPINE COFFEE COUNCIL’

Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee For Peace Corp., is now a member of the Philippine Coffee Council. CFP Corp., being a national enabler for the coffee farmers, has been chosen to be part of this Council. Joji is also the chairperson of the Greater Davao Regional Coffee Council.

The idea of organizing a national council for the coffee industry began during the Philippine Coffee Conference in Baguio City last November 2016. It was the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) who drafted a proposal for the creation of a Philippine Coffee Council together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) under a Presidential Executive Order. The purpose was to increase production, to improve productivity, and to improve quality of the coffee industry in the Philippines.

The Philippine Coffee Council will serve as the national coordinating body that will consolidate the efforts of all government agencies concerned with the enhancement of the coffee industry in the country. Unlike the already existing Philippine Coffee Board, a private organization which primarily helps in the promotion of coffee products in the country, the newly-established Philippine Coffee Council will be a government-based institution composed of selected stakeholders and players that are involved with the coffee supply chain — from farm production, primary processing, marketing, trading, secondary processing, finance, research and development.

DTI aims for “a cost-competitive, quality-driven, supply-reliable, product-diversified value chain from farming.” This coffee roadmap targets to increase production and improve farmers’ living through high value agriculture. This council is determined “to increase rural employment, lessen coffee bean and coffee products importation, and to promote environment-friendly technologies.”

We, at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., are so delighted to see our sister organization, Coffee For Peace Corp., to be an active part of the nationalization of the coffee industry in the Philippines. CFP’s participation in this Council is part of our advocacy:

:: To protect and enhance the environment

:: To walk with the farmers as they strive to improve their lives

:: To support the peacebuilders on the field.

PENNSYLVANIA-BASED ‘SOCIAL ENTERPRISE GROUP’ EXPLORES PARTNERSHIP WITH CFP

Our friend, Prof. Jonathan Rudy, Senior Fellow at the Pennsylvania-based Social Enterprise Group, led a team to visit Mindanao for the purpose of exploring partnership with Coffee For Peace. With him were Deborah Drury, Jason Biesel, and Rachel Craft. Last 07-12 January 2018, they travelled from Pennsylvania to Davao. They visited our farming partners in Mount Apo area and in Mount Matutum area. They also interacted with our social enterprise partners in Valencia, Bukidnon.

Through field visits, formal presentations, and informal conversations, we have presented to them the current state, movement, and direction of Coffee For Peace Corporation:

:: We are implementing positive actions to improve the quality and consistency of the coffee supply; this is our current focus that would sustain the long-term development of both the producers and CFP.

:: We are streamlining and codifying the organizational structure and the operational system of CFP as a for-profit corporation.

:: We are transitioning from our current level of small-sized business to becoming a medium-sized business by 2020.

We also felt that these new friends from the Social Enterprise Institute, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania listened to us and heard what we desire as the points of convergence in this budding partnership:

:: To provide research support to CFP. The ideal researcher would be from Elizabethtown College who is able to look at Mindanao socio-economic realities and communicate such realities to various audiences in Pennsylvania. The research output should contribute to a clearer social enterprise investment partnership.

:: To proceed with a partnership concept that is best described as Enterprise for Peace Collaborative (E4PC). In this model, coffee would be the initial, major vehicle for peace education and connection. As Prof. Jonathan Rudy articulated well, “the E4PC model might be able to better support the various industries that are in the CFP sphere such as brick making, glamping (glamor camping), carbon offsets, and tribal crafts to name a few.”

We, at CFP, are anticipating with much excitement and energy where this conversations and relationship would lead us.

BUDDING MINDANAO ENTREPRENEURS VISIT COFFEE FOR PEACE

Coffee For Peace Bistro hosted the Social Enterprise Ideation campers during their learning tour last Thursday, 30 November 2017. We presented various concepts that was consistent with their theme: “Local Changes: Ideas to Impact Social Enterprise”.

This ideation camp is facilitated by the CSO SEED Philippines and was supported by the European Union in the Philippines and British Council – Philippines in partnership with Office of the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ORG ARMM) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI ARMM).

Bayan Academy managed this 6-day social business ideation camp.


Mission of CSO SEED Philippines
 

Strengthening Civil Society Participation in Social Enterprise Education and Development or CSO-SEED aims to improve civil society participation in policy reforms to develop an environment conducive to decent work, job creation and small and medium enterprise (SME) development. The project does this by using social enterprise a s development pathway.

With a project duration of three years, CSO-SEED’s focus is the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or ARMM, along with other Bangsamoro areas in Mindanao. These are areas affected by conflict and underdevelopment for over four decades.

Led by the British Council and co-funded by the European Union, CSO-SEED seeks to build a stronger SME sector through the promotion of social enterprise, considered a sub-category of SME. The focus on social enterprise development delivers an innovative approach to respond to issues around decent work and job creation.

Social Enterprises offer a sustainable and empowering way to support inclusive economic development, reducing barriers to economic security, particularly for vulnerable groups.


CFP’S YOUNG WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS MADE IT TO THE TOP FIVE WINNERS AT ‘BPI SINAG ACCELERATE 2017’

“I’m so blessed to be called ina (mother) by these gifted women. They have been undergoing inclusive development and entrepreneurial management training with me for the past two years.” Joji Felicitas Pantoja, CEO, Coffee For Peace, Inc.

Two of the young inclusive development leaders we’re training — Sihaya Ansibod (Erumanen Menuvu, North Cotabato) and Twinkle Alngag Bautista (Sumacher, Kalinga) — competed with other leading young entrepreneurs from across the country, representing Coffee For Peace at the BPI Sinag Accelerate 2017’s social entrepreneurial booth camp. Last 10 November 2017, their business plan made it to the Top Five Winners with a cash prize of PhP500,000 (around C$12,000).

“BPI Sinag,” according to their website, “caters to entrepreneurs of all ages looking to make a difference. Created to discover, equip, and empower social entrepreneurs who can help uplift Filipino communities, this year’s BPI Sinag will focus on enabling these entrepreneurs to scale-up and expand, so they can further deepen their impact in community development. With this in mind, BPI Sinag Year Three will go beyond holding an enterprise competition and bootcamp, and move into building a social enterprise ecosystem.”

Based on Sihaya’s and Tala’s business plan, the award money will be used as part of Coffee For Peace’s capital to expand our post harvest processing plant among the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribal community in Barangay Managa at Mt Apo.

They are seen being recognized for their accomplishment in the official video of PBI Sinag Foundation (13:25) below.

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.