19 January 2018, Makati City – Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee For Peace Corp., is now a member of the Philippine Coffee Council. CFP Corp., being a national enabler for the coffee farmers, has been chosen to be part of this Council. Joji is also the chairperson of the Greater Davao Regional Coffee Council.
The idea of organizing a national council for the coffee industry began during the Philippine Coffee Conference in Baguio City last November 2016. It was the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) who drafted a proposal for the creation of a Philippine Coffee Council together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) under a Presidential Executive Order. The purpose was to increase production, to improve productivity, and to improve quality of the coffee industry in the Philippines.
The Philippine Coffee Council will serve as the national coordinating body that will consolidate the efforts of all government agencies concerned with the enhancement of the coffee industry in the country. Unlike the already existing Philippine Coffee Board, a private organization which primarily helps in the promotion of coffee products in the country, the newly-established Philippine Coffee Council will be a government-based institution composed of selected stakeholders and players that are involved with the coffee supply chain — from farm production, primary processing, marketing, trading, secondary processing, finance, research and development.
DTI aims for “a cost-competitive, quality-driven, supply-reliable, product-diversified value chain from farming.” This coffee roadmap targets to increase production and improve farmers’ living through high value agriculture. This council is determined “to increase rural employment, lessen coffee bean and coffee products importation, and to promote environment-friendly technologies.”
We, at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., are so delighted to see our sister organization, Coffee For Peace Corp., to be an active part of the nationalization of the coffee industry in the Philippines. CFP’s participation in this Council is part of our advocacy:
:: To protect and enhance the environment
:: To walk with the farmers as they strive to improve their lives
:: To support the peacebuilders on the field.
This advocacy is borne out of our Peace Theology:
SHALOM IS HARMONY WITH THE CREATION
This is economic-ecological transformation. Creation, from shalom perspective, is seen as an organic-relational world, not merely as a mechanical-utilitarian world.
In a mechanical-utilitarian view of the world, the emphasis is exploitation. If one of the parts of the machine-world is not functioning, the tendency is to replace it. Hence, in globalism, the natural resources can be exploited for the present, and then later, it can be substituted with technological products and solutions—that is, synthetic materials.
In an organic-relational world, the emphasis is stewardship and loving care of creation. The biblical story of Creation tells us that “the Lord God formed the mortal or adam from the dust of the ground or adamah and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life or nishmat chayim and the mortal became a living being or l’nefesh chayah.” (Gen. 2:7) Such are the imageries used to give us a grasp of the beginning of the human race. We all came from the ground. We were named after the ground. We are one with Creation. We are one humanity! We are all carbon-based material. We are all breathed with the same breath of God. That is the story of our Being Alive! When the Creator-God commanded us to umilu or replenish, to kivshuha or subdue, and uredu or have dominion over, the living things on Earth (Gen. 1:28), it has the idea of l’shamrah—to care for, to keep, to watch, and to preserve it (Gen. 2:15). Earth-destruction is listed by the Prophet John as a sin (Rev. 11:18). We are all called by the Creator-God to be stewards of Planet Earth! Christians must apply the shalom-lifestyle in the stewardship of their resources.
God cares for the whole creation, including the human species. The creation is the world that “God so loved…” (Jn. 3:16). This “world” (Gk., kosmos) can mean the sum total of everything here and now, all of humanity, or world-systems. This is also the creation that will ultimately be reconciled with Christ (Col. 1:15-20). All living things are important to God. God relates with the Creation. That is why it is important for the church to see Creation as an organic-relational world. We were created as part of the whole creation. Our shalom—our experience of wholeness—necessarily includes the whole of creation.
Based on this Shalom Theology, PBCI will serve as a catalyst group who will organize at least one Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in every province of our country.