THE FIRST BATCH OF B’LAAN ARABICA COFFEE WAS EXPORTED TO CANADA IN 2011

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Last May 9th, Coffee for Peace (CFP) sent the first batch of our B’laan coffee beans export to Canada. The CFP management team–Joji Pantoja, Kriz Cruzado, and Keith Grubaugh, with the help of the whole CFP staff and the PeaceBuilders Community–made this possible. Pastor Fred Fredeluces, our Arabica coffee production guru, has been walking with us and guiding us since we started connecting with the Bl’aan Tribe.

Pastor Malsi Buan, the spiritual leader of our partner community among the B’laan First Nation in Mt. Matutum, was there to send the 10 sacks of Arabica coffee off across the Pacific Ocean.  Representing the Canadian consumers, Keith Grubaugh accepted the B’laan coffee with respect and gratitude.

Pastor Buan was so happy that their tribal identity has been respected and dignified: “Hindi man ako makapunta sa Canada, pero ang aming mataas na kalidad na kape ay magbi-bigay saya sa mga kapatid natin sa Canada.” (I may not be able to go to Canada, but our high quality coffee will be enjoyed by our Canadian brothers and sisters.)

He told us to thank the Canadians, in behalf of his tribe, for treating their coffee growers justly through fair trade. It was in January 2010 that a group of Canadians went to this B’laan community in Mt Matutum. During that visit, they shared their life-stories together, expressed mutual respect to each others’ culture, and promised to partner with each other through fair trade.

Joji Pantoja, CFP’s Chief Operating Officer, said that she’s really excited about this development in our fair trade endeavour: “We’re just beginning. But by God’s grace, we’ll grow exponentially as our story develops.”

It was in May 31st when Level Ground Trading Ltd received our shipment and made a video documentation:

 

WE INITIATED INTER-TRIBAL EXCHANGE OF ARABICA GROWING TECHNOLOGY IN 2010

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Kriz Cruzado (CFP Research & Development Coordinator) facilitated the meeting of various tribal representatives in Mindanao who are involved in fair coffee production and trading.  They come from three different First Nations in Mindanao–the Dulangan Manobo from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, the Talaandig from Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon, and the B’laan from Mount Matutum in South Cotabato.

They shared their respective spiritual worldviews that determine their values and behaviour, especially as applied to farming practices.  They have agreed to adhere to fair trade practices as they connect with each other as they all grow, process, and sell Arabica coffee beans.  They also talked about their long-term plans of owning their own roasting machines, roasting their own coffee beans, packaging their own brands, supplying coffee in the local markets around their respective Ancestral Domains, and becoming an equal player in the coffee industry.

For now, they wanted to master the fundamentals of local Arabica farming using global quality standards.