Tag: coffee for peace


It is my joy to lead the staff, farming partners, barista partners, post-harvest processing partners, field training partners, and all the investing partners of Coffee For Peace, Inc.  Because of everybody’s smart work and hard work, other institutions have noticed our team performance.

Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) cited CoffeeForPeace.Com as one of the inclusive businesses helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) in the Philippines.

We express our gratitude first of all to the Great Creator, as well as to our farming partners, post-harvest processing partners, quality grading partners, packaging and marketing partners, coffee shop operating partners, impact investing partners, and the product consuming-appreciating partners!

Nothing is impossible!

Coffee for Peace has improved the lives of indigenous communities, Muslims and migrant workers through its peacebuilding and economic development activities. By enhancing their coffee-growing practices, local farmers command higher prices for their specialty coffee. The company aims to increase the income of farmers it works with by 300 percent and establish long-lasting livelihood opportunities. These farmers then mentor other farmers and set up local coffee kiosks to raise consumers’ awareness of the unique taste of Philippine coffee, helping communities take pride in local produce. Given the high demand for high-quality coffee globally, Coffee for Peace is planning to scale up its Inclusive Business model to more regions.

New Horizons: How Inclusive Business is Helping Achieve the SDGs in the Philippines (Philippine Business for Social Progress, p. 35)


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/08/10/coffee-for-peace-helps-achieve-u-n-sustainable-goals-in-the-philippines/


L-R Donnie Friolo, Dann (Lakan), Adette Purto, myself, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo, Ramon Quevedo: The Koinonia Group introduced Coffee for Peace to D’ Cup Coffee Republic. 22 April 2017, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Last 22 April 2017, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo — along with her husband Ramon Quevedo and our mutual friend, Donnie Friolo — introduced us to Adette Purto, Chair of D’ Cup Coffee Republic in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. After exchanging our stories during that initial meeting, I felt Adette has been a long-time friend and sister! The similarities and diversity of our dreams are so complimentary! I felt we, at Coffee for Peace, found a partner and a sister company.



D’ Cup Coffee Republic is a book cafe and events venue in Mandaluyong City inside Pioneer Street  Market. It has a spacious dining area that can comfortably accommodate 80 persons, plus a book lounge area good for 20 persons, and an enclosed function hall good for up to 100 persons, making it a perfect venue for meetings, workshop classes, special gatherings. View our venue and function hall which you can reserve online. We also invite you to visit our site regularly for workshops, classes, and other events. [Facebook Page]




When Elizabeth arranged the meeting between us and Adette’s team, we were simply expecting to sell our coffee brand to this coffee shop. Our presentation was scheduled for only an hour. After our 45-minute story-telling and presentation, she kept asking questions — deep, penetrating questions that went beyond the quality, price, and origin of our coffee. Her questions focused on peace and reconciliation, on the dream about contributing to a God-centered, radical, nonviolent, transformation of our people and our land

The meeting went beyond two hours.

We didn’t say good bye. We immediately talked about “What’s next?”


Adette and I felt we have been friends for a long time even though this was our first time to meet each other; we’re now sisters-in-vision. 22 April 2017, 1800H-2100H, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Koinonia Group. Elizabeth, Ramon, and Donnie are part of the leadership of the Koinonia Group.  I’m grateful to these faithful friends and partners whom we consider as our long-time community. Koinonia Group started in 1982 when Dann and I were serving as community organizing workers in the City of Olongapo. I was raising our little children and Dann was a young social science teacher at the Columban College. A group of outstanding students became regular visitors in our apartment. Elizabeth was one of them. We soon became a fellowship of followers of Christ working for justice and liberation of our people from the oppressive dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. We referred to our liberation-oriented activist band as Koinonia Group.

Ramon and Elizabeth met in a workplace abroad, got married, and returned to the Philippines to continue their careers, and later started an entrepreneurial endeavor in Metro Manila.

Donnie was Dann’s fellow leader at the Koinonia Group since our days in Olongapo.

We’re now scattered all over the world. But we’re still connected. The long-distance connections grew stronger because of social media. We all update each other of our lives, family development, career development, and respective ministries.

Coffee for Peace’s journey with D’ Cup Coffee Republic. Our relationship with Adette and her team at D’ Cup Coffee Republic has been growing fast. Last 12 May 2017, she and her team visited us in Davao and observed the operation of our coffee processing yard. We also compared notes on the similarities and differences of our respective coffee shops based on our differing contexts.

As I write this blog, both of our teams are talking on how our social businesses can work together to advance Peace Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices together so we can establish at least one PAR community in each of the 81 provinces in this country.


In 12 May 2017, we were visited by our partners from D’ Cup Coffee Republic, led by their Chairperson, Adette Purto. Here, we took some moments to capture their visit to the Coffee for Peace Bistro in Davao: L-R Sihaya, Tala, Elysse, Arlyn, Adette, myself, and Lakan (Dann).



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/05/12/a-new-partnership-begins-between-coffee-for-peace-and-dcup-coffee-republic/


Coffee for Peace CEO, Joji Felicitas Pantoja, discusses coffee farm management ideas with local farmers from Sutan Kudarat Province in Mindanao. Davao City, 03 March 2017.

It is such a privilege to serve God and the people, specifically those who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid, in the area of peacebuilding, through social entrpreneurship.


Coffee and Conflict. Coffee is a good bridge-building factor among conflicted parties. At Coffee for Peace (CFP), we understand conflict as “an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals.”[1]  CFP seeks to be sensitive as we discern and analyze the various dimensions of conflict—e.g., personal, relational, structural, and cultural.  When dealing with the personal dimension of conflict, we often ask: “What are the changes happening in an individual—emotionally, spiritually, mentally—when he or she is involved in conflict?” When dealing with the relational dimension of conflict, we usually ask: “What are the changes happening in people’s relationships when they are involved in conflict?” Our inquiry becomes more complicated when we deal with the structural dimension of conflict: “What are the political and economic realities that cause the conflict?  Are the basic needs of the people involved in conflict being met?  Who has access to resources and institutions of decision-making?  Who are the ones with no access to resources and institutions of decision-making?” Our discernment process goes deeper when we look into the cultural dimension of conflict: “How do conflicts change the cultural patterns of the communities?  How do their culture affect the development and handling of conflict?”


Coffee for Peace, as a social business, is focused on building peace and reconciliation (PAR) communities. The peace in Coffee for Peace refers to harmonious relationships—with the Creator, with one’s being, with others, and with creation. It is through this perspective of reality and mission in life that this business was started.


Coffee for Peace was established on April 15, 2008 in Davao City. The idea began when we facilitated an informal conflict mediation in Maguindanao province between a Migrant farmer and a Bangsamoro neighbor. The two were trying to kill each other for the ownership of the rice field ready for harvest, regardless of who planted the rice or who owned the land.  Instead of shooting each other, we invited the conflicting parties for a dialogue over coffee.  Since then, the two parties avoided killing each other. They started inviting other members of the community to have coffee together — for peace.


Peace Issues.  CFP was borne out of our peacebuilding immersion in the context of the armed conflict between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).  Later, CFP also responded to the invitation of key leaders among the Indigenous Peoples in Kalinga and in other parts of the Philippines. It was through the work of Rev. Luis Daniel Pantoja, CEO of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., that CFP came to have a better grasp of the historical background of the armed conflicts in our land.[2]


The GPH-MILF Peace Process.  Our understanding of the Mindanao conflict was brought about by the following main reasons. First, when we arrived in Mindanao in 2006, we learned that the majority Christian population of the Philippines has a strong anti-Muslim bias. The 2005 Philippine Human Development Report says that in Metro Manila 57% residents will opt for residency in a place with higher rent so long as it is far from a Muslim community. Second, the minoritization of the Moros came as a result of the failure of the government to protect the Moro ancestral lands. Once the majority in Mindanao, the Moros now comprise only 22% of the population. And third, the government failed to deliver basic services and the needed development to Moro communities. The 2005 Human Development Report shows that Muslim areas like Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan continue to suffer the highest poverty incidence.


L-R: Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja (CEO, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.), Chairman Mohagher Iqbal (MILF Peace Panel), Prof. Wendy Kroeker (PeaceBuilding Consultant, Mennonite Church Canada), Ms. Joji Felicitas Pantoja (CEO, Coffee for Peace, Inc.) pose for a picture after an interfaith dialogue on conflict transformation between key Christian religious leaders and the MILF, facilitated by Coffee for Peace, Inc. and PeaceBuilders Community. 14 May 2013, Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.


CFP believes that the Mindanao conflict is really a story about injustice. During our immersion among the Moro people, we were able to form a deep bond with many of the folks belonging to the MILF base commands, including some of their key leaders. One of the ways PeaceBuildersCommunity, Inc. and Coffee For Peace, Inc. contribute to the peace process is by helping bring together Muslims and Christians to foster better understanding of each other through dialogue, and by conducting Peace and Reconciliation training seminars among the Christian communities and the Muslim communities.[3]


The GPH-NDFP Peace Process. CFP’s understanding of the armed conflict conflict between the government and the communists started from the ground. The stories we hear on the ground are always two-sided. On one hand, we hear soldiers and government-trained paramilitary units complaining that the New People’s Army (NPA) are present in their areas of responsibility. On the other hand, we also hear local community folks complaining that elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and their paramilitary groups are present in their areas of residence and livelihood. Depending on who is the dominant influence in a certain geographical context, we hear about the common folks’ fear of the “other side.” The other side may be the AFP when such place is part of an NPA mass base. The other side maybe the NPA in areas where the government has more stable presence and control.


It is through these set of lenses that we read the mutual blaming we often hear from each side. It is through this set of lenses that we, at CFP, have decided to be on the side of the civilians and that, in this conflict, we will be focusing on the protection of the civilians and we will seek to help make their voices be heard locally and globally.


As of the writing of this article, CFP is joining its network of peacebuilding advocates in their call on both the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) to be consistent in seeking for peace at the negotiating table. For the sake of immediate security of the civilians and trust-building among all stakeholders, CFP calls on both the government and the NDF to maintain and sustain their ceasefire-mode. For the sake of the protection and security of consultants of both parties, and for the sake of giving them freedom to continually discuss and promote the peace negotiations across the country, we call on both the GRP and the NDF Peace Panels to reinstate the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). For the sake of the long-term protection and comprehensive security of the civilians on the ground, we call on both the GRP and the NDFP Peace Panels to continue their work on strengthening the mechanisms in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). For the sake of genuine, holistic, and lasting justice-based peace of our people in our land, CFP calls on both parties to continue working on the unification of the drafts of Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) and Comprehensive Agreement on Political and Constitutional Reforms (CAPCR).


Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja (CEO, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.) and Ms. Joji Felicitas Pantoja (CEO, Coffee for Peace, Inc.) pose for a picture with local armed leaders after a land-based conflict transformation process facilitated by Coffee for Peace, Inc. and PeaceBuilders Community. 19-24 February 2009, Matigsalog Ancestral Domain, somewhere between the provinces of Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Maguindanao.


Partnership with PeaceBuilders Community.  CFP understands peacebuilding as a strategy that “encompasses, generates, and sustains the full array of processes, approaches, and stages needed to transform conflict toward more sustainable, peaceful relationships.”[4]  With this perspective, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) has been involved in a wide range of activities and functions that both precede and follow formal peace accords.  Such activities include conflict transformation, military intervention and conversion, governance and policymaking, restorative and transitional justice, environmental protection, human rights, civilian and military peacekeeping, peace education, activism and advocacy, trauma healing, and social-economic development. The central component of PBCI’s work is reconciliation.  The conflicting parties must be willing to go on a journey from resolution of issues to rebuilding of relationships.


PBCI soon found out that peace and reconciliation would not become a reality without a sustainable, regenerative socio-economic component. From this realization, PBCI leaders initiated the establishment of Coffee for Peace—a social entrepreneurial corporation dedicated to building peace and reconciliation communities in strategic areas in the country.


PeaceBuilders Community facilitates relationship and partnerships with farming communities, trains coffee farmers, and sets up processing facilities — sustained and energized by Peace and Reconciliation principles and values.


Coffee for Peace looks after quality control, marketing, and other social entrepreneurial development needs and concerns of the coffee farmers. CFP also seeks to contribute towards the nationalization of our coffee industry and to help in the peace and reconciliation of our people with the Creator, with our being, with others, and with the creation.


The impact of this partnership was validated when CFP received an N-Peace Award from the United Nations Development Program – Impact Investment Exchange Asia (UNDP-IIXAsia) last 23 October 2015. Joji Pantoja, CEO of Coffee for Peace, received the award 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.


Durreen Shahnaz, Founder & Chairperson of Impact Investment Exchange Asia, hands the Certificate of Award to Coffee for Peace CEO, Joji Felicitas Pantoja. 23 October 2015, One UN Hotel, New York, NY, USA.


“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.


CFP’s strategic peacebuilding impact was again affirmed last 30 March 2017 when Joji Pantoja received an award from the President of the Philippines as one of the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2017. The awarding ceremony happened at the Malacañang Palace. There were 26 women throughout the Philippines who received similar awards for their “capacity to be catalysts for change and progress.” Joji was one of the two in the ‘social business’ category.


L-R: Ramon M. Lopez, (Secretary of Trade and Industry), Salvador Medialdea (Executive Secretary, Office of the Presidernt), President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Joji Felicitas Pantoja (Coffee for Peace), and L. Daniel Pantoja (PeaceBuilders Community) during the awarding ceremony of Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2017. 30 March 2017, Malacanang Palace.




[1] “The Nature of Conflict,” Peace and Reconciliation Resource Manual, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., p. 9.

[2] L. Daniel Pantoja, Being a Gospel Witness in the Face of Unjust Global Realities: A Theological-Ethical Framework for Peace and Reconciliation Ministry of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., pp.07-12. Unpublished material.

[3] See for example a report on a dialogue we conducted between leaders of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front during the 2008 armed conflict resulting from the Supreme Court’s decision to junk the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

[4] John Paul Lederach, Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies (USIP, Wash., DC, 1997, p. 20)



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/03/30/the-journey-of-cfp-in-the-work-of-peace-and-reconciliation-through-social-business/



I’m so excited about the on-going construction of Coffee For Peace Bistro, the second Coffee For Peace (CFP) shop. It was first conceptualized 18 months ago when the management team realized the growing market demand for our products and services. The various awards we have been receiving also prompted our clientele, our partners, and our network to suggest the possibility that we can actually provide impact investment opportunities. Coffee For Peace Bistro is our pilot project for this new phase of growth.


Ate Edna. This major project will be managed by Dann’s elder sister, Edna Pantoja, who just decided to retire from her 17-year food business in Shanghai, China. Ate (Elder Sister) Edna has been in the food business and entrepreneurship since she was a young woman, trained by Dann’s mother, the late Mrs. Librada Alba Pantoja. For almost two years, Ate Edna and I have been in dialogue about CFP and her probable involvement in this social enterprise. Last year, she and her business partner, Mary Selorio, visited Davao and took our Peace and Reconciliation Course. They also travelled with us to various fields where our farming partners live. When Dann and I felt that they actually understood what Coffee For Peace is all about, and what it means to be an investing partner in this inclusive development endeavor, we invited Ate Edna and Mary to join us. They agreed to invest in CFP, bringing with them their years of expertise in a global-standard quality food service. They decided to move to Davao and actually risked their retirement savings along with our own meager retirement funds. Our joint investments are dedicated to the establishment of Coffee For Peace Bistro.


Bistro Team. As I continue to have the corporate oversight of Coffee For Peace, Inc. as its CEO, I’m so at peace and have full confidence that this Coffee For Peace Bistro will be managed efficiently and effectively by Ate Edna. She will be assisted by the following key staff:

  • Byron Pantoja, who went through the training conducted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, will be the master barista;
  • Nite Alparas, a graduate of the Center for Asian Cullinary Studies, will serve as the chef;
  • Mary Selorio , a professional baker who was trained in the United States, will design and serve the pastries.

Ate Edna’s team is now training the newly hired baristas in accordance with CFP’s global quality service standards, which will also include Peace and Reconciliation Course.

The Coffee For Peace Bistro is designed by Swito Architectural Designs, Inc., a Mindanao-based company. I’m so happy that they have interpreted the vision of Coffee For Peace well and have translated it into their poetic design.


Dreams. CFP started as an income generating program (IGP) of the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). To enable PBCI to become self-sustainable, an IGP was created to support its mission. However, due to the organic social involvement of CFP, it became a separate business entity with the following mission:

Coffee for Peace has been training farmers on Arabica production, the principles of fair trade, trading policies and pricing since 2008. Aside from working in Mindanao, CFP has also trained coffee farmers in the Cordillera Region and is looking forward to train more in the different provinces of northern Philippines.

We remain faithful to our company’s Learnings and Commitments:


  • 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 will 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.



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2016/08/16/the-second-coffee-for-peace-shop-is-being-built/



29 May 2016. Dann and Joji Pantoja, founding leaders of Coffee For Peace (CFP) and PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI), met with a group of graduate students from the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), University of British Columbia. This class is led by Dr. Leonora C. Angeles, Associate Professor, SCARP.

This class of 9 graduate students are doing their Masters in Community and Regional Planning. They will be visiting both our Davao and Kalinga operations to learn more about CFP and other programs at PBCI which utilize alternative development and sharing economy through volunteerism. Their learning could be part of a research and capacity building service they can provide by documenting CFP’s history, mapping our organizational development, and assessing program process and outcomes. This practical work-study is part of a Philippine Planning Studio field course which Dr. Angeles is offering.

These UBC grad students, along with Dr. Angeles, will be leaving for a July field research and study in the Philippines, and will be visiting Kalinga and Davao in the 2nd and 3rd week of July 2016.

It was good for Dann & Joji to meet with the leaders of this group at the home of Dr. Angeles in Vancouver during their pre-departure session. In this meeting, the Pantojas shared with them how to understand more the context of fair trade coffee in relation to the sharing economy and alternative development work that CFP and PBCI are doing.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2016/05/29/ubc-grad-students-plan-to-visit-coffee-for-peace/



I’m so blessed to enjoy a relaxing Saturday in a small coffee shop that —

  • serves world-class quality coffee (Specialty Coffee Association of America, Specialty Coffee Association of Europe);
  • has been evaluated as sound business in terms of five-pronged bottom line — people, peace, progress, partnership, planet (PriceWaterhouseCooper, Foundation for Sustainable Society Inc, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Citibank, Marketplace Magazine);
  • had just won an award from the United Nations (UNDP-NPeace);
  • is being served by award winning baristas;
  • is facilitating the socioeconomic transformation of hundreds of coffee farmers;
  • contributes to the practical propagation of inclusive development;
  • corporately embraced by various tribal councils and leaders, local justice-advocating community organizations, government agencies, local government units; and,
  • inspires the community we belong to as a family.

CoffeeForPeace. It’s not just another coffee. It’s JUST coffee!


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2016/01/22/being-grateful-about-coffee-for-peace/



We are calling investors from among the Mennonite Church Canada to come and see for themselves what is happening in the economy of the Philippines, especially in Mindanao.

Our country’s economy remained to be on an upward trend even after the major floods, armed-skirmishes, super-typhoons, storm surge, and earthquake we have experienced in the past three years. According to the Asian Development Bank: “Despite natural disasters that devastated parts of the country in the fourth quarter of 2013, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a solid 6.5% in that period, bringing full-year growth to 7.2%, well above the 4.7% average recorded from 2008 to 2012.”

The Philippines, according to Moody’s Analytics, may even lead Asian economic growth in 2014. Our gross domestic product (GDP) has the potential to grow between 5.3 to 6.5 percent this year, lower than last year’s 7.2 percent and the government’s target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2014. This is a little bit higher than that of Asian region’s projected growth, which is near 5 percent in the second half of 2014.

Last 31 February 2014, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III visited Malaysia and invited the business community there to invest in Mindanao. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports:

Addressing about 200 of Malaysia’s top businessmen, Mr. Aquino said the Philippines was past its days as a “laggard” and “the sick man of Asia,” with its economic rise recognized internationally through credit ratings upgrades and renewed global interest.

“Mindanao … has land so fertile that a patch of it left unattended for a short while becomes quickly overgrown. Now that lasting peace in that particular region has come within reach, perhaps investing this early in Mindanao is an opportunity that is presenting itself to all of us,” Mr. Aquino said.

“Now, you are presented with another opportunity to reap the maximum gains from a country that is experiencing rapid growth, and is set to sustain [that] growth over many years. May I pose this question: Is anyone here really willing to pass up this opportunity and set [themselves] up for regret somewhere down the line?” he said.

Yes. As the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will be signed this month, let’s enhance the actual peacebuilding, reconciliation, and sustainable livelihood work on the ground. 

The Philippine government invites the Malaysians to invest in Mindanao.

We now invite the Canadian business community to invest specifically with us as we expand Coffee For Peace!







Joji Felicitas B. Pantoja is co-founder and chief operating officer of both Coffee for Peace and PeaceBuilders Community. She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (B.Sc., 1979). She also studied International Relations at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. She moved to Canada in 1986 and since then developed a successful career in the investment and financial industry with Investor Group Canada and then with Investia Financial Services.

She returned to the Philippines in 2006. In 2010 she became the Women Entrepreneur Winner of CitiBank-Business in Development Network, Philippines–defining her bottom lines as profit, people, and planet. She also received an award from the Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) in 2010 for “Business with an Impact on the Bottom of the Pyramid.”

Asked why she left her career in Vancouver for Mindanao, she said: “I can’t imagine having a summary of my life printed on my tombstone as, ‘Spent her life managing rich people’s money.’ I want to be remembered as: ‘A person who walked with the people as they find dignity through holistic and sustainable economic development.’”





Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2014/03/20/we-invite-our-canadian-partners-to-invest-in-mindanao/


cfp-at-date2013 Joji Pantoja presents Peace Theology as the framework for Coffee For Peace. Around 1000 participants from various agribusiness companies participated in the 2013 Davao Trade Expo. Photo by Bryan Jay Paler, PAR MetroManila.

Joji Pantoja presents Peace Theology as the framework for Coffee For Peace. Around 1000 participants from various agribusiness companies participated in the 2013 Davao Trade Expo. Photo by Bryan Jay Paler, PAR MetroManila.

17-19 October 2013, Davao City. Coffee for Peace (CFP) took the lead as the major partner of the 2013 Davao Trade Expo (DaTE 2013) for the coffee industry. The theme of the 15th DaTE was Empowering the Farmer: Engage. Enable. Excite. It is the biggest agribusiness expo in Mindanao and is spearheaded by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI). This year’s expo was held at the SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City.

DaTE 2013 focused on the “golden crops of agriculture,” namely cacao, coconut, coffee, corn and cassava. The said crops have an increasing demand not only locally but as well as in the international market. This expo brought together global and national speakers and specialists to provide essential ideas, best practices, and updates on agricultural standards, emerging markets and build business relationships among agriculture players. It has also provided the platform to discuss on availability of products and technology in the local market, matching of local market to the international market, addressing various socio-political issues affecting the agriculture sector at present and conference of the best practices of the concerned industry.


Joji Pantoja and Eddie Isada were major plenary speakers. Dawn Pates was the facilitator for the CFP workshop. Coffee For Peace is a major partner in Davao Trade Expo 2013. Photos by Byron Pantoja, CFP.

Joji Pantoja (CFP’s Chief Operating Officer), and Pastor Eddie Isada (CFP’s Plantation Management Consultant) were two of the seven speakers for the said conference. Joji began her presentation by sharing Peace Theology as the framework for CFP operations. She also shared the CFP experience in the value chain approach to coffee business. Finally, she explained the core values of CFP which are:

  • transparency in partnership with the farmers;
  • protection of our environment;
  • empowerment of the community;
  • peace in our home, community and our land; and,
  • excellent quality of products and services.

After all the inspirational coffee business stories, one of the most awaited part of the program was the technical aspect of coffee production which was well explained by Pastor Eddie. When the session ended, a lot of farmers and interested participants went to Pastor Eddie to get his contact number for training events in the near future.

The break-out session for the coffee industry was attended by around 200 people coming from all walks of life and yet interested in the coffee industry. CFP’s marketing coordinator, Dawn Albert Pates, facilitated the break-out session.

Originally founded by PeaceBuilders Community as a conflict transformation space in the field, CFP has been growing as a community of conscientious individuals who are passionate about business-for-profit, addressing social issues that concerns the farmers, the environment, and the peace situation in our land by advocating Fair Trade in the coffee industry.

CFP looks at fair trade as a business approach to achieve justice and peace in our society and in our environment.

Coffee For Peace, as a business corporation and as a community, includes:

  • A Board of Directors who are made up of business executives, community leaders, creative communication professionals, and academics.
  • A management team led by a business talent with 20 years of world-class financial planning experience in Canada. She is a degree holder in Food Service Administration and a coffee connoisseur.
  • The wisdom, knowledge, and experience of a team of dedicated agricultural engineers and agriculture specialists with a combined experience of more than 75 years.
  • A community-network of well-trained and justly-treated farmers who supplies us with their produce at fair traded prices.

Since the inception of CFP in 2008, the company has been gaining many awards and recognition because of its efforts in addressing the social issues that concerns the farmers, the environment, and the peace situation in our land.

Reported by Dawn Albert Pates, CFP Marketing Coordinator



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/10/20/coffee-for-peace-is-a-major-partner-of-the-2013-davao-trade-expo/



Dawn Albert Pates, PAR Resource Development Coordinator, asks a question regarding an important trade issue during one of the plenary sessions of the First Philippine Investment Conference at SM Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City which was held last 25-26 June 2013. PBCI is active in various business circles who are involved in the coffee industry.

Part of our dream at PBCI is to be economically sustainable in our ministries in the Philippines.

But we don’t want to remain in a dreamworld. With God’s grace, we will continue with our labour of love to worship God and to realize our dream of peace and reconciliation in our land. In order to accomplish the vision of having Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) among our people, we must have a sustainable support system. A sustainable support system has to be a genuine partnership between national and international resourcing. Our global Mennonite family has been helping us in the initial stages of our vision and mission.

Now, we have to explore and build local economic programs to help sustain this peace and reconciliation movement. Here are some of the steps we’re making to build a sustainable, national PAR movement:

1. We have established a department at PBCI called “PAR Resource Development.” This department is dedicated to the on-going development of sustainable support programs of PBCI through the following endeavours: (a) new social business development; (b) promotion and marketing of our current coffee products and consulting services; and, (c) global trading of our coffee beans and other related products.

dawn2. We have appointed a PAR Resource Development Coordinator. She is Dawn Albert Pates. Dawn started working with us as a volunteer in 2008. As a member of the University Peace and Reconciliation Team, she helped in peace education activities among students in various universities in Davao City. In 2013, she became a full-time staff member at PBCI. She excels in conceptualizing, organizing, and mobilizing resources for income generating projects to support our peacebuilding work. Dawn will help Joji in initiating and developing relationships with business corporations, civil society organizations, religious organizations, government agencies, and other possible partners or clients to promote our products and services. She will also take part in the PBCI Management Team.

3. We are intensifying the multiplication of our coffee farming communities among Indigenous People (IP). PBCI is now in partnership with 27 IP communities–we train them how to plant, grow, harvest, and process Arabica coffee. Our social business organization, Coffee for Peace (CFP), buys them at fair trade price. CFP then exports their coffee to Level Ground Trading in Canada.

4. We have entered into partnerships with business families who own real estate properties to develop model coffee farms and shared service facilities for farmers. Last month, we have signed a memorandum of agreement with a family to use one hectare of their land to build shared service facilities. This month, we will sign another memorandum of agreement with a business family in the Province of Bukidnon to use a 15-hectare land to develop a model farm for Arabica coffee. Both projects will be funded by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to develop the IP communities in this province. PBCI will be the managing organization for these private-public partnerships.

5. We are beginning to be active in various business circles who are involved in the coffee industry. Last 25-26 of June, PBCI and CFP attended the First Philippine Investment Conference at SM Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City along with more than 1,000 participants. The event’s theme was “Investing in Priority Industry Cluster for Small and Medium Enterprises.” CFP products were put on the exhibit. During the event, the team was able to build relationships with organizations and people with the same vision of helping the farmers who are at the bottom of the pyramid. In this conference, we noticed that the term “inclusive growth” is becoming a byword in the business world.

Please pray as we work hard to eventually stand on our two feet, in the hands of God.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/07/03/economic-sustainability-takes-shape-as-part-of-pbci-dream/



Joji is the “cover girl” of the January February 2013 issue of The Marketplace magazine, the official publication of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

It was Gordon Janzen, our facilitator at the Mennonite Church Canada Witness, who introduced us to Wally Kroeker of MEDA.  Wally interviewed us and we freely shared our stories as he was asking questions.  Joji and I were surprised to see this published as a major story in The Marketplace.

We especially liked how Wally captured the story on how Coffee For Peace was conceptualized:

One day they were engaged in intense dialogue with warring sides in the conflict zone.

We told one leader to leave his weapons outside and join us for coffee,” says Dann. “We just listened to him talk. Then we had coffee with the guy he was fighting against, and we listened to him. Then we asked if they would be willing to have coffee with each other — and they did!”

Someone blurted out, “Let’s have coffee for peace.”

The phrase stuck, and an idea began to percolate in Joji’s mind.

She was no stranger to how the hospitality trade could enhance social outcomes. Years earlier, after graduating from a course in hotel and restaurant management, she had opened a cafeteria for street women and children.

Now she pondered adapting a simple social ritual to a higher purpose that could complement their peacebuilding efforts. She knew coffee was the world’s second most traded liquid commodity, after oil. Couldn’t the peace dividend be magnified by empowering coffee farmers?

“It was Joji’s idea to make it a brand name and open a shop,” says Dann.

We, at PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace pray that our small experiment in doing theology and mission in the context of our new global realities would inspire our colleagues in the ministry.  We particularly prayed for our sisters and brothers among the First Nations of North America when Gordon shared his heart’s desire:

It’s a really well written and inspirational story about your entrepreneurial vision and achievements.  The story makes me wish that we had a similar way to engage our aboriginal neighbours in Canada with a similar business for mission approach.  But that’s another region.

May the Gospel of Shalom be advanced among all Indigenous Peoples of the world through the Creativity of the Creator, the Peace of Christ, and the Energy of the Great Comforter.


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/02/21/the-marketplace-magazine-of-meda-featured-joji-and-coffee-for-peace/