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Coffee for Peace ships beans to Canada

   
 


Joji Pantoja with ten 60 kg. sacks of coffee beans destined for Canada

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June 10, 2011
-Deborah Froese

Winnipeg, MAN. — On May 9, 2011, Coffee for Peace exported their first shipment of coffee beans to Canada.

Coffee for Peace (CFP) is the initiative of Joji Pantoja who with her husband Daniel, is a Mennonite Church Canada worker in the Philippines through their ministry, Peacebuilders Community Inc.  CFP sells organically cultivated, locally grown and roasted coffee beans for fair-trade prices, and operates a small street-front café where coffee brewed from those beans is served.

Level Ground Trading, a company founded by four Canadian families to help improve the lives of disadvantaged producers, will ship the beans to Canada. They will then be sold through Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit Fair Trade Organization and a program of Mennonite Central Committee.

The coffee beans were grown by the B’lann First Nation in Mount Matutum region of Mindanao.
Pastor Marcy Buan, the spiritual leader of the B’lann, expressed his joy about the shipment of coffee beans in a story on the CFP Facebook page. “I may not be able to go to Canada, but our high quality coffee will be enjoyed by our Canadian brothers and sisters,” he said through translators.

Pastor Buan thanked Canadians on behalf of the B’lann for treating their coffee growers justly through fair trade.

The Facebook entry stated that “CFP is committed to advancing Fair Trade, not just for marketing purposes, but to really see genuine justice and peace among the coffee farmers in the Philippines, especially the Indigenous People – whom CFP regards as the First Nations in this archipelago.”

By adhering to fair trade principles that create sustainable opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, CFP helps to alleviate poverty. Producers have the opportunity to strengthen management skills and find access to new markets. Fair prices enable socially just and environmentally sound production.

On May 30, 2011, those very principles helped CFP to win first place in the Business in Development (BiD) Challenge in the category for businesses with an impact on the bottom of the (societal ) pyramid. The BiD Challenge is sponsored by Philippines Business for Social Progress and Citi Bank.

SIDEBAR: Mennonite Church Canada workers win business award for ministry

On May 30, 2011 Coffee for Peace (CFB) won a first place award in the Business in Development (BiD) Challenge under the category for businesses with an impact on the bottom of the (societal) pyramid. The principles of faith guiding CFP helped them do it.

Coffee for Peace is the initiative of Joji Pantoja, who with her husband Daniel is a Mennonite Church Canada worker to the Philippines through their ministry, Peacebuilders Community Inc.  The Pantojas believe fair and just business operations of all kinds are needed in peace building work. For true and lasting peace to take root, harmony must be established at four levels; harmony with the Creator (spiritual transformation), harmony with self (psycho-social transformation), harmony with others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with Creation (economic-ecological transformation).

CFP encourages economic-ecological transformation through organically cultivated, locally grown and roasted coffee beans that are sold for fair-trade prices, providing a sustainable income for local farmers. Operation of a small street-front café in Davao selling coffee brewed from those beans generates further employment. These forms of economic stability help to provide a foundation for harmony to take root in each of the other three facets of peacebuilding.

A percentage of all CFP profits helps to support the peace and reconciliation work of Peacebuilders Community Inc.

The BiD Challenge is sponsored by Philippines Business for Social Progress and Citi Bank.