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Coffee for Peace slowly catching on


Mennonite Church Canada staff toast their first cup of Coffee for Peace.
L-r, Steve Heinrichs, Director, Native Ministry; Nyoman Klassen, Finance; Hippolyto Tshimanga, Mission Facilitator for Africa/Latin America/Europe; Ingrid Miller, Administrative Assistant; Coreena von Kampen, Executive Assistant.

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October 17, 2011
-Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Churches consume a lot of coffee. There are committee meetings, coffee and fellowship times before or after worship, potlucks, staff meetings – thousands of cups of coffee are consumed at churches each week.

While fair trade coffee has been around for some time, now Mennonite churches can enjoy a flavourful, top- ranked coffee, while they help grow peace and make a contribution to peace ministries of Mennonite Church Canada.

Joji Pantoja, an international ministry worker with Mennonite Church Canada has spent five years developing relationships with under-paid coffee growers in a conflicted region of Philippines. Now her work is paying off with the first ever shipment of coffee to Canada being made available exclusively to congregations of Mennonite Church Canada.

Joji Pantoja, together with her husband Dann, provide an extensive peace ministry in Mindanao, Philippines, where Christians, Muslims, indigenous tribes people have been embroiled for years in a land conflict. Dann has trained dozens of PAR personnel – Peace and Reconciliation workers – to prepare them for relationship building between antagonists in conflict zones.

Level Ground Trading Company of Victoria, B.C., marketer of Coffee for Peace, has received and roasted the first batch and will donate $10 from the sale of each case of coffee to the Pantoja’s peace ministry. Co-founder Stacey Toews, is asking Mennonite Church Canada congregations to step up to the plate.  “This project is in its infancy and, with such a small harvest and high start up costs, it's critical that people place orders. Your purchase is the only way in which the farming families can continue to expand their harvest and Level Ground can continue its relationship trading with them and marketing their coffees,” said Toews.

Toews will personally visit the Filipino farmers this fall and hopes to report that their “…harvest has been eagerly received, and the Mennonite community in Canada is standing with you, the farmer.” If each church purchases one case the entire harvest will be sold, adds Toews.

Coffee for Peace is available in 5 lb. cases for $100/case. Each case contains ten, ½ lb. boxes for easy sharing with friends and family. Both beans and ground coffee are available. To order a case of whole beans or a case of ground coffee, go to or call 1-888-565-6633.