21-23 October 2015. Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee For Peace (CFP), received an N-Peace Award from the United Nations Development Program – Impact Investment Exchange Asia (UNDP-IIXAsia) in behalf of the women who comprise the 80 percent of the farming farmers of CFP. The N-Peace Awards Ceremony was held at One UN Hotel, New York, NY.
“The N-Peace Awards,” according to a UNDP brochure, “identifies and celebrates the power of women as agents of change, focusing on making visible the untold stories of women leaders and their male allies.” CFP specifically won the IIX N-Peace Innovation Challenge. “The challenge,” according to the organizers, “is an enterprise competition that aims to accelerate the peacebuilding agenda by supporting Impact Enterprises working to empower women, engage youth, and catalyze innovation and technology. The challenge is an opportunity for Impact Enterprises that have a positive influence in Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Nepal to show their social impact.”
N-Peace means “eNgage for peace, equality, access, and empowerment.” N-Peace is “a multi-country initiative of UNDP to advance women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding, and for promoting inclusive peace processes.”
Coffee for Peace got the award primarily because it uses a unique, triple-bottom line formula to brew peace for over 800 families in the high-conflict zone of Mindanao and other critical areas in the Philippines. It’s long-term vision also contributed to UNDP-IIXAsia evaluation.
How we see reality at CFP
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.
How CFP contributes to 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
End poverty in all its forms everywhere. CFP especially focuses on communities that are generally marginalized economically because of geography and historical injustices against them. Our farming partners receive PhP350.00 or $8.75 a day.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Among our tribal farming partners in Kalinga Province, CFP offers vocational and livelihood training among youth in coordination and in cooperation with the local high school principal and teachers.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. 80 percent of CFP’s farming partners are women.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Arabica coffee trees need bigger trees as shades. The bigger trees that are conserved and planted through CFP’s Arabica farming program serve to protect the forests on the mountains where our farming partners operate; thus, protecting the water shed around our general areas of operation.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. CFP promotes justice-oriented trading and livelihood program among our farming partners. We are training them not just to be suppliers of raw materials, but also to process, package, and market their products. By teaching them the art of processing their products through the various stages of the value chain, we are actually training them to be ‘farmerpreneurs’.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. CFP seeks to understand and learn the customs, social organization, and indigenous economic structures of our farming communities. For CFP, modern technology must be assessed, processed, applied, and evaluated through the lenses of local, indigenous wisdom.
Reduce inequality within and among countries. CFP partners with international buyers and distributors like Level Ground Trading, and have invited them to visit our farming communities in the Philippines. Our local and national buyers-clients are also educated on inclusive development as a basis for long-term partnership.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. CFP’s three-fold advocacies are farmers, environment, and peacebuilding. We train and organize our farming partners into Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities and part of the training course are various skills in disaster preparation and response.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Our Arabica growing program, which involves preserving the forests and planting big trees, help mitigate soil erosion on our mountains.
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. CFP’s farming partners are organized into Peace and Reconciliation Communities. The training course includes fundamentals of peacebuilding, conflict transformation, negotiating skills, mediation skills, and other active non-violent justice advocacies.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. CFP is part of a global community of faith-based peacebuilders, direct fair traders, inclusive development practitioners in the business and financial sectors – all working for the welfare of our farming partners.
Coffee For Peace is an inclusive development project of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI).
PBCI is a peace and reconciliation missionary organization sent by Mennonite Church Canada.