Years of conflict and illegal logging have left swathes of land in the Philippine island of Mindanao in a poor state, but community involvement and modern farming practices introduced by companies like Coffee for Peace are now bringing change.
Coffee for Peace's inclusive business approach is helping farming communities in the Mount Apo area. Premium coffee varieties were introduced and farmers trained to achieve higher yields, while best practices in processing, branding, and marketing coffee were also disseminated.
Coffee for Peace was one of the finalists of the first ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards, which was held in 2017.
The Asian Development Bank, through its Inclusive Business Support Project, is helping governments and the private sector put in place policies, programs, and incentives for inclusive businesses across Asia and the Pacific.
Davao del Sur, Mindanao, Philippines - Years of conflict and illegal logging have left swathes of land in Mindanao in a poor state.
But modern farming practices and community involvement are now bringing change.
“Coffee, that could be a symbol for peace. Because Muslims, Christians, and tribal communities drink coffee,” says Joji Pantoja, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Coffee for Peace.
“So, wherever we go here in Mindanao, they serve us coffee. And whenever coffee is served, there is dialogue. And whenever there is dialogue, there is no time for killing each other.”
Coffee for Peace’s inclusive business approach is helping farming communities in the Mount Apo area.
“Without assistance from Coffee for Peace, we would not be able to raise the quality of our coffee,” says Marivic Dubria, a coffee farmer from the Mount Apo area.
“Often, farmers only follow standards under supervision.”
Premium coffee varieties were introduced and farmers trained to achieve higher yields.
Best practices in processing, branding, and marketing coffee were also disseminated.
“The training I received on roasting coffee was useful because it helped me earn more,” comments Dubria.
“Roasting adds value to our coffee. So if I roast, grind, and then sell the coffee, I can make more money.”
Farmers can now earn up to $5 per kilo, five times what they used to.
“Our goal is to develop the supply area first, so grow wide and secure the supply and train as many communities on coffee production, whether it is arabica or robusta,” says Coffee for Peace’s Pantoja.
Tribal communities across Mindanao are raising the quality and quantity of the coffee they produce.
“Robusta for us is a native coffee that our ancestors loved to drink,” Bai Baby Jerlina Oluwok, Chief of the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe.
“That’s our dream. To be producers one day of good, fine robusta.”
Coffee is bringing peace, livelihood, and pleasure, to the Philippine island of Mindanao.