Tag Archives: business leadership

How our business contributes to peace

 

 

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.

 

Image for post

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

  • cross-cultural understanding

  • inter-faith dialogue

  • inclusive development

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.

 

Joji Pantoja
President & CEO
Coffee for Peace, Inc.Davao City, Philippines

James Mwangi

White and Dark Blue Minimalist Back to Business Landscape Banner

A 2020 Honouree leading one of the most inclusive banks in the world with inclusion at its core.

 

 

James Mwangi talking to crowd of people

 

Dr. James Mwangi is one of Africa’s most renowned entrepreneurs. He is credited with democratizing financial access by giving the unbanked population opportunities for broader economic participation. He has led Equity to become an integrated financial services group operating in 6 African countries with a client base of over 14 million. Mwangi’s ability to merge economic theory to the practical realities of village life enabled him to revolutionise the banking industry in Africa. Today, Equity is one of the most inclusive banks in the world with clients across the socio-economic spectrum including youth and women.

 

Copy of 3J1A0014

 

 

“I dedicate this Award to our staff and to the millions of our customers who have continuously inspired us by trusting and believing in our common purpose and dream, that together we can solve our problems by seeking innovative solutions anchored on shared value and prosperity,” said Mwangi. “I share this award with our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs who wake up every day to create wealth and opportunities for our society. This Award is a great inspiration to all Africans to believe in their dreams and to pursue them with dedication and conviction that together, we can change our continent within our lifetime.”

 

James Mwangi receives the Award for his businessworthy values in championing financial inclusion for all. The Committee sees him as a shining example of how business leaders can accelerate change and help solve the world’s problems.

 

 

James Mwangi talking to a large crowd of schoolchildren

Marc Benioff

 White and Dark Blue Minimalist Back to Business Landscape Banner (1)

A 2020 Honouree leading a successful global company while advocating for equality and stakeholder capitalism. 

 

Marc Benioff giving a speech

 

 

Marc Benioff is Chair, CEO and Founder of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. He is a member of the World Economic Forum (“WEF”) Board of Trustees, Benioff serves as the inaugural Chair of WEF’s Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.

Salesforce founded the 1-1-1 or “Pledge 1%” model of corporate philanthropy, which dedicates 1% of Salesforce’s equity, employee time or product back into the communities it serves. This pledge has so far generated more than $280 million, millions of employee volunteer hours, and technology to nonprofits and schools worldwide.

 

World Economic Forum Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary

Photo: World Economic Forum Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary

 “It is a great honor to be recognised by the Business for Peace Foundation, which recognises that businesses have profound responsibilities to all our stakeholders, including our communities and our planet,” said Marc Benioff, Chair & CEO, Salesforce. “As more companies embrace stakeholder capitalism and commit to meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we see that business is the greatest platform for change.”

 

Mr Benioff receives the Award for being an outspoken advocate of businessworthy values and leading Salesforce with social responsibility and equality at its core. Mr Benioff is passionate about redefining capitalism to work for all, and ensuring businesses have a positive impact on the societies in which they operate.

 

 

 

Felicitas ‘Joji’ Bautista Pantoja

White and Dark Blue Minimalist Back to Business Landscape Banner

 

A 2020 Honouree providing sustainable livelihoods for indigenous and migrant peoples and building peace in conflict zones. 

Mrs. Pantoja in field with farmers

Mrs. Pantoja working with local farmers

 

 

“This recognition affirms that inclusive development can be a reality through social enterprise.” – Felicitas Pantoja. 

 

Mrs. Pantoja has dedicated her career to building peace in conflict zones and improving the lives of marginalised groups through economic stability. Based in the Philippines, Coffee for Peace uses coffee production as a tool to address the economic, environmental and peace issues prevalent in conflict-affected communities. Established in 2008, her peace-building missions started around the ritual of gathering over a cup of coffee. “I noticed that they served us coffee,” says Pantoja. “When there’s coffee served, they sit down, they talk more and there’s less fighting – and there’s less death. So coffee can now serve as a vehicle for peace.”

 

Today, Coffee for Peace provides sustainable livelihoods for Indigenous and migrant groups in rural areas, and has enabled over 880 farmers to escape poverty and build their coffee production capacity. Over 80% of the farmers in the community are women. The company’s focus is on sustainable agriculture, peace and reconciliation between religious groups, environmental protection and entrepreneurship. Coffee for Peace works closely with Business Call to Action, a program of the UNDP.

Mrs Pantoja has said of receiving the Award that “this recognition affirms that inclusive development can be a reality though social enterprise.”

 

Inspecting coffee beans

Coffee for Peace has trained over 880 farmers

 

 

Mrs Pantoja receives the Award for her businessworthy efforts in bringing peace and prosperity to conflict-affected communities in the Philippines. She and her team have built an inspiring social enterprise that empowers marginalised groups from different backgrounds, bringing these groups together while contributing to the sustainable development of the land. Mrs Pantoja demonstrates the significant impact that business can have when used as a vehicle for peace.

 

“Businesses are the most powerful and influential players. Businesses ought to be mindful of the responsibility to bring economic-ecological justice and harmony among human societies.”  – Felicitas ‘Joji’ Bautista Pantoja

 

 

Smiling with Coffee for Peace

Build back better business: a call to action by our Honourees

BfP_CtA_BuildBackBetterFuture1

 

 

 

We are proud to announce that 26 Oslo Business for Peace Award winners have come together to release a joint Call to Action statement calling to build back better business in the wake of the current pandemic.

Representing over 23 countries, this Call to Action is a united voice for business leaders in diverse sectors and across the globe.

 

 

 

 

Call to action letter page one cta_FINAL copy

Google Analytics

pop up sign up