Our Story. Our Advocacy. Our Coffee Quality.
This business is rooted in our story. Coffee for Peace, Inc. (CFP) was established on April 15, 2008 in Davao City. The idea began in 2006 when the founders helped to facilitate an informal conflict mediation, with their whole Mindanao-based peacebuilding network, between certain Migrant and Bangsamoro farming communities. The two groups were involved in an armed conflict for the ownership of several rice fields ready for harvest, regardless of who planted the rice or who really owned the land. Instead of shooting each other, the leaders of the two parties-in-conflict were invited for a dialogue over coffee. Since then, the two communities avoided killing each other. They started inviting other surrounding communities to have coffee together — for peace.
CFP started as an Income Generating Program (IGP) of the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI)—a Mennonite peacebuilding movement in the Philippines that exists (a) to train and multiply effective Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Team Leaders; (b) to support the leaders in organizing and nurturing their respective PAR Teams; (c) to establish contextually-relevant PAR Communities; and, (d) to develop a Network of PAR Communities.
We are peace and reconciliation (PAR) advocates.
Peace and reconciliation (PAR) is based on regenerative-inclusive development.
We understand peace as enjoying harmony in our basic human relationships through the transforming power of God:
- harmony with the Creator—spiritual transformation;
- harmony with our being—psycho-social transformation;
- harmony with others—socio-political transformation; and,
- harmony with the creation—economic-ecological transformation.
We understand reconciliation as building relationships between antagonists. The primary goal is to seek innovative ways to create a time and a place to address, to integrate, and to embrace the painful past and the necessary shared future as a means of dealing with the present.
When PBCI makes a covenant with our community partners, we see and understand regenerative-inclusive development as follows:
- By regenerative, we mean a normal process of self-reproduction, renewal, or restoration of an ecological system toward a better, higher, or more worthy state. While we start with sustainability — which is the ability to maintain ecological systems at a certain rate or level — we want to seek regenerative development as a foundational principle in this development initiative.
- By inclusive development, we mean (a) enjoying a high, regenerative growth to create and expand economic opportunities; (b) experiencing broader access to opportunities to ensure that members of society can participate and benefit from growth; and, (c) having social safety nets to prevent extreme deprivation.
We sustain PAR through the multiplication of social entrepreneurs.
We propagate PAR by training young social entrepreneurs. And we expect them to apply PAR principles in the practical world of business.
Our interns combine commerce and social issues in a way that improves the lives of people connected to our ministry of reconciliation. We measure the social entrepreneurs’ success not in terms of profit alone. Our social entrepreneurial interns measure success in terms of people, peace, progress, partnership, and planet.
We produce quality coffee as our iconic product for peace and reconciliation.
The social enterprise, to us, are businesses that make money and work toward improving the peace and reconciliation journey of our land. By selling quality goods and services to consumers, which we determine through market research, we seek to help solve conflicts in our land in a sustainable way.
The people who are often attracted to social entrepreneurial principles and practices are those who dream, and are willing to work hard and smart, towards solving a social problem. In turn, social entrepreneurs attract consumers who want to help social problems every time they spend money on something they need or want.
What Others Are Saying About Us
Coffee farming is helping indigenous people in the Philippines to protect the environment, preserve their ancestral lands and secure their financial future. They are doing so through an organization called Coffee for Peace, one of the winners of a UN-backed award that celebrates innovation. READ MORE
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. READ MORE
St. John’s University, New York
Coffee for Peace is creating a system for the indigenous people of the Philippines to give them a way to succeed and to help them achieve things that they would not be able to do without the training that they receive from the company. They help people solve their own personal disputes with others while also helping them to earn a livelihood in order to provide for their families. They help connect people and give them hope. READ MORE
It is not difficult to understand that even rebels can get attracted to the idea of coffee farming. Their habitat is the mountains, they need decent livelihood, and they need a fair trader to buy their produce. It counts less what their political affiliations are because in time, all that will count is their contribution to the economy and the society, and how their enterprise becomes pivotal to laying down their arms and joining the fold. It is with this noble objective of not thinking what her enterprise can give her financially that Coffee for Peace won the Bid Challenge in 2011 and became a finalist in the Developmental Social Enterprise Awards of PwC Philippines and the Benita & Catalino Yap Foundation. READ MORE
PhilStar – StarWeek Magazine
MANILA, Philippines – From a political activist to being a peace activist, Joji Pantoja knows what transformation can do to a person. Whether a farmer or an advocate, the change starts from within… READ MORE
Felicitas Pantoja, on the other hand, encourages peace through the use of coffee. Through Coffee for Peace, she helps improve the lives of coffee farmers through their coffee-growing model. READ MORE
Mennonite World Conference
Coffee for Peace has a simple and yet elegant coffee shop in Davao City. A visitor to this coffee shop can see the advocacy for promoting coffee produced by the locals. But upon a closer examination, one will realize that this is not just promotion of the local coffee, but that it advocates peace and justice through fair trade. READ MORE
Mindanao Daily Mirror
Not one but six farmers growing coffee have already built new houses in Purok Pluto, which is five hours to Mt. Apo’s summit in Cotabato and Davao del Sur provinces, the highest mountain in the Philippines. These families are among the 13 communities trained by Coffee for Peace on coffee plantation management and peace and reconciliation that addresses the values of communities. The sight of the new houses upon her visit in the area last week delighted Felicitas “Joji” Pantoja, CEO and Capacity Building Trainer for Farmers of Coffee for Peace, which is a social enterprise that promotes the culture of peace through coffee. READ MORE
Philippine Board of Investments
Coffee for Peace (CFP) teaches coffee processing and plantation management to indigenous communities torn by armed conflicts, illegal logging, and irresponsible mining. The company also links the coffee farmers to local and international markets. Before CFP’s intervention, the coffee farmers only made between P30-P50 per kilo of coffee. These coffee growers now supply high quality beans to Canada, the United States, and Switzerland. To date, CFP has trained over 600 farmers who can sell their coffee beans for as much as P250 per kilo. These farmers have also raised their monthly incomes to at least P9,000 per month. READ MORE
Business skills come in handy for emerging Philippine coffee industry. Coffee growers in the Philippines can be grateful that Joji Pantoja knows business. Otherwise they might still be brandishing guns rather than toting sacks of Arabica beans. For Joji and her husband Dann, who are Mennonite missionaries, the coffee trade they’ve developed among highland tribes has become an important cog in a larger peacebuilding ministry in their native country. READ MORE
Southeast Asia Globe
Filipino social enterprise Coffee for Peace is mediating disputes in the Philippines’ most conflicted region by harnessing the power of coffee as a communication tool. READ MORE
Asian Development Bank
Years of conflict and Illegal logging have left swathes of land in the Philippine island of Mindanao in a poor state, but community involvement and modern farming practices introduced by companies like Coffee for Peace are now bringing change. READ MORE
Our logo portrays our vision and mission
The balanced composition of three triangles bound in a circle—which represents the half section of a coffee bean—symbolizes our dreams and aspirations for the Philippines.
The half coffee bean is our beloved land. Our islands are typically mountainous and diverse in terrain, rich in bounty and produce. The three triangles represent the major island groupings—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
We see our people as a mosaic—multicultural in nature, with rich and diverse ethno-linguistic characteristics. We envision a land where all these different cultures are freely expressed. We dream of a country where all these different people groups are treated equally as they live in harmony with one another.
We see the future of this beautiful land through the lenses of faith, hope, and love. The multi-cultural people of the Philippines will mutually promote peace and reconciliation as well as inclusive development so that the present and the next coming generations will live better lives and will ultimately realize its dream-image as The Pearl of the Orient Seas.