Written by 2020 Honouree and CEO of Coffee for Peace, “Joji” Felicitas Bautista Pantoja
When we started developing the concept of Coffee for Peace as a business in 2008, we had been working on the ground and listening to the voices of the rural poor, specifically the challenges and the systemic impoverishment experienced by most farmers in the land-based, armed-conflicted areas of Mindanao.
Knowing our resource and time limitations in the field, we focused our attention on the coffee farmers.
We were aware of the many programmes encouraging farmers to produce and plant more coffee, but one thing was missing. The programmes were conceptualised in the offices of the funding organisations, lacking real consultation and deep listening on what the farmers actually need. In the end, the programmes were not the farmers’ project; they were the funders’ project. Despite the accomplishment reports of the officials, the people on the ground did not really embrace them as their own.
Coffee for Peace starts with listening. For us, listening is the first act of love. If we truly love the people, we ought to listen to them — with our ears, with our minds, with our hearts, and with our will.
We also listen to ourselves — what are lenses through which we listen, and what are resources we can access to respond to what we have heard.
We got involved by amplifying the voices of the farmers to the government. We accompanied the farmers’ spokespersons to many assemblies conducted or facilitated by various government and non-government organisations. We actively attended meetings, until they heard the farmers we were accompanying. We wrote proposals to work with the government and with other organisations by being their partner on the ground. In most cases, we served as project managers or consultants. We helped organise the farmers. We initiated trainings to bring them from the position of mere raw material suppliers to the position of being farmer entrepreneurs or ‘farmerpreneurs.’ We vouched for the farmers’ organisations as they received grants from the government. The government saw evidences of transparent, sustainable, and reproductive use of public funds entrusted to the farmers.
The training we provide are all framed in peace and reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices. The PAR training programme includes:
the fundamentals of peacebuilding
conflict transformation processes
These trainings were conducted in such a way that the farmers would understand the complex concepts using development communications approaches.
Change did not happen overnight. In our experience working with the communities who partnered with us, it would take three years to introduce a new system of thinking and working — from harvesting, processing, to having a mindset of an entrepreneur, to becoming a peacebuilding community. A family or two would apply the way Coffee for Peace, then we see their neighbors embracing the principles and practices, then we see most of the community adopting the transformative process.
Our partnership with the government and other non-government organisations helped us accomplish beyond our own organisational capacities. To increase the livelihood sustainability of the community, we helped train them to receive larger grants from the government or investments from other businesses or institutions. Right now, we see this stage of their development as a stable foundation towards further inclusive development for the next generation.
Coffee for Peace is focusing now on each individual farmer to help enhance their natural gifts and acquired skills as ‘farmerpreneurs.’ Some of them are technically inclined. Some of them are good teachers. Some of them are good with numbers. We see many more talents and skills among many of them. We are seeing the best side of each farmer and we’re facilitating how important it is for each one to work with one another harmoniously. With this inclusive and holistic view of community development, we are more confident that they can move further towards achieving greater dreams.
One big corporation operating in a conflict-affected area said that since they worked with Coffee for Peace and with our twin organisation, PeaceBuilders Community, their budget for extra bodyguards and security system significantly decreased in over a year. They saved money integrating the culture of peace in their corporate conflict management system. They were also able to develop a good working relationship with the community with whom they used to have conflicts. The high-ranking government official who was sent by our national government to observe the conflict transformation processes in this case was so happy and gave a very positive report. He saw how the mix of business and peacebuilding became a model for inclusive development especially among communities in conflicted areas.
CFP, along with our twin organisation PBCI, are grateful and glad to see a peace-framed social business contribute to an increased harmony in the community in terms of family income, sustainable livelihood, relational harmony, and the pleasure of producing and drinking freshly brewed coffee.
For justice. For peace.
President & CEO
Coffee for Peace, Inc.Davao City, Philippines
Abogado de derechos humanos y ganador del premio Business for Peace en 2015, Juan Andrés Cano, ha dedicado su carrera a entender el impacto del sector privado en los derechos humanos. El fundador de PeaceStartup y Business and Human Rights y CEO de Semilla, destaca la importancia de crear alianzas entre ONGs, gobiernos y el sector privado para proteger los derechos humanos. Iniciativas como esta demuestran que otra manera de hacer negocios es posible.
Estamos acostumbrados a usar nuevas tecnologías, porque trabajamos en distintas ciudades: Barcelona, París, Bogotá… En lo que se refiere al día a día, no hemos notado muchos cambios en este sentido. Los viajes de negocios están cancelados ahora mismo, pero eso es positivo de alguna manera porque nos permite pasar más tiempo en casa.
Hemos podido mantener a todo el equipo porque nuestro trabajo está conectado con muchas de las cuestiones que ha generado el covid como la innovación o el impacto. El covid está siendo una especie de “experimento” para nuestras actividades. Anteriormente no habíamos trabajado directamente con temas de salud, pero siempre hemos trabajado con temas de cambio climático, desigualdad social, etc. En ese sentido nuestro trabajo sigue siendo el mismo.
¿Podría hablarnos del trabajo que realizan cada una de estas empresas?
La primera que me gustaría mencionar es Business & Human Rights. Se trata de una consultoría basada en España donde trabajamos con las empresas del Ibex 35 para comprender cómo sus actividades impactan los derechos humanos. Este impacto no siempre es evidente, especialmente para empresas europeas. Hace falta una perspectiva global para entender esta conexión.
Como resultado de la colaboración entre el sector privado, ONGs y el Estado para entender los impactos de las empresas en los derechos humanos, surgió PeaceStartup. Un vehículo para promover la colaboración entre estos actores, pero esta vez con una perspectiva local.
Finalmente, Semilla, con sede en Latinoamérica, se encarga de la gestión de activos y la recaudación de fondos para fomentar el crecimiento en la región. Trabajamos dentro del espacio de la inversión de impacto y de los ODS.
¿Puede hablarnos sobre la plataforma Better Together (“Mejor Juntos”) con la que colabora en respuesta a la pandemia?
Este es un buen ejemplo de cómo es posible trabajar juntos. El objetivo de esta plataforma es entender cómo diferentes actores están realizando colaboraciones que mantienen a la comunidad en el centro de la conversación. Normalmente este tipo de plataformas tienen un enfoque de “arriba hacia abajo”. Pero queremos entender cómo generar este tipo de colaboraciones desde “abajo hacia arriba.”
Queremos entender cómo todos estos actores están trabajando con las comunidades en respuesta al covid-19. Qué se está haciendo bien y cómo puede aplicarse en políticas públicas o en la actividad empresarial. Este es un momento clave para unirnos y entender qué es posible y cómo podemos hacer mejor las cosas.
¿Qué espera que cambie después de esta pandemia, tanto global como localmente?
Esta pandemia está siendo un experimento que va a ayudar a los ciudadanos globales a entender que todos estamos conectados, y no solamente por una economía global. Estamos pendientes de lo que pasa en el resto del mundo. Nos preocupamos los unos por los otros y nos orgullecemos de los logros e iniciativas mutuas.El desarrollo sostenible, el medio ambiente, los derechos humanos, son asuntos globales. Tal vez esta sea una oportunidad para darnos cuenta de que necesitamos respuestas globales. En términos más específicos, vemos que esto es una oportunidad para que los inversores y el sector privado apuesten por inversiones sostenibles, asegurarse que los impactos están controlados, y que la solidez empresarial son parte de la estrategia de la empresa. Es una oportunidad para crear una nueva normalidad.
No todo el mundo habla sobre la conexión entre derechos humanos y empresas. ¿De dónde surge su interés por este tema y qué les diría a otros líderes empresariales sobre la importancia de la responsabilidad del sector privado durante la pandemia?
Yo soy abogado. Estudié derecho porque a través de la ley podemos luchar por la justicia. Pero todo abogado sabe que esto es de alguna forma una falacia. El resultado de la ley no es siempre la justicia. Sin embargo, los derechos humanos ofrecen un enfoque normativo que tiene el potencial de ser global. Los derechos humanos son para todas las personas, pero en la realidad no todas las personas tienen sus derechos asegurados.
Los derechos humanos ofrecen muchas posibilidades. Surgen en defensa de los derechos de los ciudadanos frente al Estado. Pero no todas las violaciones de derechos humanos las causa el Estado, a veces son las empresas. Las empresas son uno de los principales actores económicos con impacto global. Pero ese impacto se puede entender y controlar. Para mí este campo dentro los derechos humanos es un espacio desde el que lograr justicia con un impacto global para todos aquellos en la cadena de valor.
Las empresas tienen la oportunidad de usar el sistema de derechos humanos como referencia global, como un mínimo moral y ético que mantener en todas sus actividades. Y esta perspectiva resuena con muchos líderes del sector privado precisamente porque no implica necesariamente una perspectiva legal. Cada país tiene distintas leyes: Colombia, México y Noruega, todos tienen distintos gobiernos. Los derechos humanos presentan un mínimo que siempre debería estar ahí, da igual el país. Y esto es una oportunidad de coherencia y de comunicación para las empresas, que independientemente del país, pueden decir “yo protejo la privacidad, yo protejo la vida, la salud de mis empleados, mis consumidores y en mi cadena de suministro.” Pero aún tenemos mucho camino que recorrer.
Por ejemplo, a mí me apasiona el mundo de la inversión. Los inversores son el motor de las compañías y tienen la posibilidad de influenciarlas, especialmente si comprenden que sus inversiones pueden impactar los derechos humanos. Los inversores deberían pensar que esta es una nueva economía basada en el acuerdo ecológico. Necesitamos un acuerdo ecológico y socialmente justo. O incluso un nuevo acuerdo ecológico y de derechos humanos. Es una oportunidad para invertir sabiamente, pensando de forma local, y actuando de forma global.
¿Quieres colaborar con la iniciativa Better Together?
La plataforma Better Together (“Mejores Juntos”) quiere conocer tu historia. Si tu organización colabora con comunidades locales o conoces de alguna iniciativa local multi-actor que trabaje identificando las necesidades y prioridades de las comunidades, no dudes en ponerte en contacto.
La entrevista al completo está disponible en inglés aquí.
Juan Andrés Cano en la ceremonia de entrega del Premio Business for Peace en 2015
Business for Peace has always enjoyed gathering people and inspiring discussions. We have facilitated discussions at our annual Summit and locally at startup community MESH. We recognised businessworthy leaders with the Oslo Business for Peace Award. Since 2009, global business, global leadership, global gatherings were our core. When March came, we were quick to do two things: ensure the safety and wellbeing of our employees, and cancel physical events.
Our vision is that all businessleaders strive to improve society by creating value for all stakeholders in an ethical and responsible way. The mission, therefore, is to recognise, inspire, and accelerate businessworthy leadership. And this is how we did that this year:
Naturally, this year was one no one could have predicted, but being online fueled engagement. In fact, this Medium account is a result of the year that has been. We needed an agile platform in which to share some of our most inspiring and insightful stories of the entire year. We were able to interview some of our Honourees across continents, and touch base with local businesses, too. One of the blessings in disguise for us was being able to talk to Honourees and inspirational business leaders globally, hosting webinars, and sitting in on panels about businessworthy leadership. We also called on the expertise of our partners for tools to help businesses be more inclusive. Inspiring is something we have woven into our fabric, committed to continue to showcase as many inspiring as many individuals and ideas as possible.
We started to accelerate businessworthy leadership through action. In October, we launched a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation called Future of Business. The Future of Business’s aims, among other ambitions, to inspire, educate, and connect investors with entrepreneurs.
We also gathered our Honourees digitally for the first time ever. Their determination to make sure businesses did good despite Covid-19 was palpable. In fact, their drive and teamwork resulted in a call to action to build back better in the Global South. Twenty-six of our Honourees from around the world signed the call to action, and we are so grateful to them for their commitment to accelerate the call to action.
Through our partnerships and our Award Committee, we still were able to recognise business leaders changing the face of business. This year’s Honourees are three diverse, driven, peacebuilding leaders.
“They are role models to society and their peers, have earned stakeholders’ trust, and stand out as advocates,” says Per Saxegaard, Founder of the Business for Peace Foundation.
We hope to see them next year at our Summit, along with you as well. In keeping with adapting to the new circumstances, we are committed to holding our 2021 Summit, knowing that it will look very different and much of it will be digital-first.With that, we want to make sure you save the dates! 26–27 May 2021, we will once again gather, albeit digitally. We will once again discuss business, celebrate our Honourees, and inspire present and future leaders.Until then, may you have a healthy holiday season.
**Please note: we are no longer accepting applications for this position**
Business for Peace is looking to hire a Event Coordinator.
Term: 5 month contract, full-time hours
Contract Dates: 1 February 2021 – 30 June 2021
Must be based in Oslo, Norway.
The Event Coordinator will assist in planning and executing the annual Business for Peace Summit, taking place 26-27 May in 2021. The role involves a breadth of task management, adaptability, attention to detail, and interaction with a range of internal and external stakeholders.
The Business for Peace Summit is a two-day, annual event in Oslo that brings together business leaders, investors, leaders of NGO, politicians, academics, and civil society from all over the world to discuss the practical actions needed in order to make substantial and sustainable positive contributions to society. It is a central meeting place for agenda-setting people with a “businessworthy” mindset. In 2021, the Summit will take on a hybrid digital-physical format, adapting to the times and involving participants from around the world.
We are looking for an Event Coordinator to help us deliver an excellent hybrid event format. The ideal candidate has strong planning skills, is highly structured, tech-savvy, professional, and passionate about creating positive change in society. We are a small team so it’s a good opportunity to be hands-on in many aspects of the Foundation’s work!
Essential Job Functions:
Assist with the organisation of different events as part of the Summit from inception through execution, completing tasks on time and within budget
Act as event lead for select events within the Summit
Under the guidance of the Programme Manager, recruit and manage contact with high-level speakers
Assist with external meetings, such as with partners and vendors
Manage event registration and invitations to guests
Assist with all event logistics and administration (for example: venue logistics, hotel bookings, responding to participant questions, gathering information for the website, ordering catering, etc)
Contribute to developing the Summit programme, site, and report
Qualifications and Capabilities:
Minimum 2-3 years relevant work experience with event management
Experience at a non-profit organisation and/or working with CEO-level leaders is an asset
Excellent English skills, oral and written
Good understanding of Norwegian, at least B1 level, and based in Oslo
Excellent interpersonal and collaboration skills
Ability to think strategically and innovatively
Highly structured with excellent planning and time management skills
Willingness to execute day-to-day tasks, work independently and problem solve
General understanding of developments in international business and the sustainability landscape is an asset
How to apply:
Send a CV and cover letter firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Event Coordinator” by end of day on 10 January 2021. We thank all candidates for their interest and will contact those selected for an interview.
Please note: This position is dependent on funding.
As our holidays worldwide look different this year, we want to do something different, too. That’s why we are sharing our first-ever ethical gift-giving guide. We support all socially conscious businesses globally. Our mission is, after all, to recognise, inspire, and accelerate businessworthy leadership. By shopping consciously, you help to accelerate positive social, environmental, and ethical change. We know, it’s “just shopping”, but your purchases can help provide income to disadvantaged women, people in rural, remote, and conflict-affected areas, and others to whom every bit of income matters.
Our Honourees are constant sources of inspiration, and that’s why they are leading our list of ethical gift ideas. We hope this guide empowers you to give generously, and give consciously.
Gifts that ship globally
Coffee for Peace
Founded by our 2020 Honouree Felicitas Bautista Pantoja, Coffee for Peace is a social enterprise that uses coffee production as a tool to address economic and conflict challenges in the Philippines. The company provides sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, helping local farmers escape poverty. You can feel even better about your morning coffee habit :)
Dilmah is a premium quality tea brand founded in 1988 by 2015 Honouree Merrill J Fernando. Dilmah has committed themselves to environmental sustainability and equal opportunity employment. By purchasing Dilmah, you support responsible farming and employment practices in the highlands of Sri Lanka.
Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise that empowers women, employing over 200 prisoners, ex-prisoners and underprivileged women. Their artisan handbags have been spotted on the arms of Beyoncé and Amal Clooney. Founder and 2016 Honouree Sarah Beydoun has done everything she can to keep operations running during this very challenging time for Lebanon, ensuring income for her workers. It’s a purchase that you can feel good about, and look great with.
“Trailblazer” is the book that is currently circulating its way around our office. Marc Benioff, a 2020 Honouree, is an advocate for LGBTQ rights, education inclusion, and alleviating homelessness. It’s an inspiring book that helped spark passion for action in an otherwise tough year. A good read for all aspiring CEOs.
Anders Dahlvig Reflecting on his 26 years at IKEA, former CEO and 2009 Honouree Anders Dahlvig describes how to combine traditional business goals and the goal of contributing to a better society. He does this while bearing in mind global supply chains and sustaining profitability and corporate responsibility. His book “The IKEA Edge: building global growth and social good at the world’s most iconic home store” is on our bookshelf. Maybe you know someone who should also have it on theirs?
Sir Richard Branson
Author of several books, this one from 2014 Honouree Sir Richard Branson is a favourite from his line-up. “Screw business as usual” shows how easy it is for both businesses and individuals to embark on a whole new way of doing things, solving major problems and turning work into something we both love and are proud of.
Give a different kind of gift – make a donation in your name or on behalf of someone else to really spread the holiday spirit.
#SheisMore young artists
The perfect donations are those which help young people get the education and support that they need. We particularly like IIX Global’s option to sponsor young artists. Our 2017 Honouree Durreen Shahnaz is the Founder. Every USD100 donated will help offer youth artists with the opportunities for artistic development and education through their #sheismore campaign.
The late Dr Ibrahim Abouleish was the founder of the comprehensive development initiative SEKEM. The SEKEM school pledges to provide education to as many children as possible, giving them a stronger foundation for their future.
Through her important work, Dr Jennifer Riria brings economic empowerment to marginalised women, contributing to build peace even during times of conflict. The 2014 Honouree founded Kenya Women Holding, now Echo Network Africa. You can make a donation to support mentorship for young women, maternal and child health programme, or for women entrepreneurs and leaders.
For our readers in the U.S., Dean’s Beans is at the top of our list of good coffee products that are as fairly and sustainably sourced as it gets. 2013 Honouree Dean Cycon founded Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company in 1993 after working as an environmental and indigenous rights lawyer. He set out to prove that business could create meaningful change through ethical business practices. We think it’s safe to say he proved his point.
Corpocampo is dedicated to the sustainable production and distribution of Açaí Berry and palm heart. Founded by 2018 Honouree Edgar Montenegro, Corpocampo has provided jobs for over 240 female-headed and indigenous households, and is helping to bring local communities out of poverty. Corpocampo doesn’t ship abroad, so this one is for the lucky few in Colombia.