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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
This simple structure will be the home of Kapeyapaan Coffee Kiosk, Peace and Reconciliation(PAR) Movement in Eastern Mindanao, Kalinaw Youth Movement, and BeyondBorders Christian Community.
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”.
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?”
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.
Joji “Lakambini Mapayapa” Pantoja, CEO
Coffee For Peace, Inc.
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.
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.
The staff of PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace had our regular Monday morning worship and reflection time at the Coffee For Peace Bistro. Afterwards, they were given a treat to experience being valued clients by the CFP Bistro serving partners and barista partners.
The other staff members who were doing urgent errands and other baristas who were on duty at the CFP Shop (the original coffee shop) will be scheduled as guests this afternoon after their duties.
Last February, Rev. Luis Daniel Pantoja, President and CEO of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and also the Chairman of the Board of Coffee For Peace, visited the village of Sumacher as a fulfillment of a promise he made to the elders of this tribe.
Then, last April 18-20, another Peace and Reconciliation Community is born!
This is a continuation of a series of events that we believe is harmonized by the Creator Afuniyan:
In 2014, Ferdinand Chulsi and Josie Alngag joined in an orientation for coffee farming in Bugnay, Tinglayan. They invited the PBCI team to give the same training to Sumacher.
In 2015, Jeanette Bernawi Domallig and Josie joined the Peace and Reconciliation training. They embraced the peace theology and invited us to give also the same training.
This year, we finally went to Sumacher and 20 people joined the training on Peace and Reconciliation and coffee farming.
But the amazing part of it was that, even before the training, land was already prepared for the Arabica coffee. 3,000 citrus seedlings were planted as the cover trees. It spoke volumes about their commitment!
The PAR team in Sumacher envisions their coffee farms to produce global quality coffee which will be an icon to tell their story as a people.
Through a process of active listening, we were given the privilege of having a grasp of the dreams and visions of the Sumacher people. This listening process is consistent with the philosophy of cross-cultural interaction every time we interact with the Indigenous Peoples.
We are being taught by the Indigenous People in the Philippines to join them as they journey towards their right to self determination. We will support their view of their future and we will help preserve and nurture their respective Ancestral Domains.
We have learned to respect the dreams of their elders and we are enriched by listening to the visions of their young people. We will walk with them towards their dream of a sustainable livelihood that respects their culture and dignity as a people.
We are seeing a lot of Indigenous People living on mountains higher than 500 meters above sea level who have existing coffee trees. We will share a coffee processing technology that would meet the highest local and global standards at Fair Trade prices.
We are invited to look to the future when all the Indigenous People in this land are trading fairly in local and global markets. We will assist in developing their entrepreneurial skills by practising direct trade philosophies and inclusive business models to the coffee industry.
We are facing the reality that our resources and the money earned, may lead to conflict, if we as a community do not prepare or plan for our financial future. We are invited to journey with community leaders and their people in basic conflict resolution approaches and financial management strategies, to ensure the sustainability of their culture and resources.
So, as the Creator, whom the Kalinga people know as Afunyian, continues to allow us to serve the Kalinga people, we will pursue this inclusive development partnership with the Sumacher tribe. We submit our whole being to the Creator regarding this journey.
March 3-4, 2016. A group of 25 farmers from the Paquibato District of Davao City attended a 2-day Coffee For Peace Training at the PeaceBuilders Community Center where we train our prospective coffee farming partners about ‘peace’ and ‘coffee’. This is done within the framework of Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices.
The participants were pre-qualified based on farming experience, community leadership, and ability to share this particular training back to their respective communities.
The training was conducted by Joji Pantoja (CEO), Jobelyn Basas (ICT), and Byron Pantoja (Bean Trading) with the support of the whole CFP-PBCI family.
This Farmers’ Training Program by Coffee For Peace is an on-going Inclusive Development Initiative of PeaceBuilders Community.
In Davao City, we do this training program in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Davao City Field Office (DTI-DCFO) and Councillor Marissa Salvador-Abella of Davao City.