“Ina” — our term of endearment for Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee For Peace, Inc. — and I were there when the local farmers and coffee industry stakeholders in the Province of Compostela Valley gathered to organize themselves to participate in the national coffee roadmap. They are now referred to as Compostela Valley Coffee Council. With the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry-Region XI and the Davao Region Coffee Council, the newly-organized provincial coffee industry players will be a part of the Davao Region Coffee Council, which is a member of the Philippine Coffee Council.
As President of Davao Region Coffee Council, our CEO spoke before a group of farmers, provincial and municipal government executives, and other coffee industry players. With the theme “Defining Quality, Rediscovering Local Coffee,” the event planners aimed “to inspire the coffee industry value chain players to achieve consistency in meeting the demands of the local and international market.”
Our Ina presented the “Strategies of the Philippine Coffee Roadmap by the Regional Coffee Council.” The Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 was adopted by the national government in 07 March 2017. The Roadmap hopes to sustain a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global quality standards, reliable, and environment-friendly. Our Ina challenged the ComVal coffee industry players “to determine where you want to go, then draw your map and use it as your guide.” She expressed that her favorite feature of this Philippine Coffee Roadmap is its inherent design to provide sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters. Ina also said that this industry would significantly contribute in attaining poverty alleviation among the Filipino farmers.
Coffee For Peace, under our Ina’s leadership, consistently emphasizes the fact that, next to oil, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. “The Philippines,” according to her, “has been gifted by the Creator to be located within the Coffee Belt — those 50 countries on Planet Earth located between latitudes 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south — where coffee trees of different varieties love to grow because of our tropical climate.”
Right now, the Philippines produce merely 37,000 tons of coffee per year. Along with all the industry players, our CEO is committed to lead Coffee For Peace to contribute to the Coffee Road Map’s goal to produce nearly 215,000 metric tons by 2022.
The conference was held last 19 June 2018 at the Capitol Social Hall in the Municipality of Nabunturan, Province of Compostela Valley. I was assisting my Ina during that event and took these photos.