IN 2009, WE CONNECTED WITH FARMERS FROM BOTH NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
Joji Pantoja (CFP Chief Operating Officer) and her staff started a dialogue with Maragusan town Mayor Cesar Colina (first photo, seated behind his desk). The two initial meetings led to an agreement to explore an Arabica planting program to help the Indigenous Peoples in the Compostela Valley (ComVal) Province in Southeastern Mindanao. ComVal is so rich in natural resources and its geographical terrain is perfect for Arabica growing and processing.
CFP started reaching out to the ComVal farmers to introduce Arabica coffee farming as an economically- and ecologically-viable business. We are introducing Fair Trade principles and practices in their language. Kriz Cruzado (CFP R&D Coordinator) is in-charge of teaching the 10 Fair Trade Principles. She also provides hands-on Coffee Classification and Quality Production training. Joji Pantoja teaches the Supply Chain Analysis and Marketing through story-telling.
Meanwhile, in Northeastern Luzon, Dann Pantoja (CFP President & CEO) have formally presented the CFP Arabica Planting Program to the Hon. Jerry P. Pasigian (second photo, in blue shirt), Mayor of Castaneda, Nueva Viscaya. In response, Mayor Pasigian has verbally invited, in front of his senior staff and top officials, Coffee for Peace to train the farmers here. This town is tri-bordering Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija and Aurora provinces.
Training teams from both Peacebuilders Community and Coffee for Peace are set to travel to Luzon in the next few months to start the training programs in Castaneda and surrounding areas.