Juno artists drink Coffee for Peace

WINNIPEG, MB - Coffee for Peace (CFP,@coffeeforpeace, #cfpjunos) is working with Warner Music Canada at their 2014 Juno Awards celebrations in Winnipeg, March 29-30, 2014. The hope is to build the awareness and profile of CFP and its conflict reduction work.

CFP is a fairly traded coffee grown by indigenous Filipino farmers in conflict areas. Since inception, farmers have increased income from their coffee by 200 per cent.

The increased income has resulted in practical quality of life improvements for farmers and their families: children now have rubber boots instead of slipping down muddy slopes in flip flops during the rainy season; parents can buy notebooks and school bags for their children; families who previously lived in fragile structures made of bamboo and coconut now have cement block homes that better withstand storms.
Enhancing quality of life is key to building peace, says, Joji Pantoja, a former Winnipegger and now the Chief Financial Officer of CFP in the Philippines.

"Where people find dignity, there also you will find peaceful living. A fair income means secure shelter, improved diets, and the tools and knowledge to improve the environment and growing conditions for crops. All these elements reduce conflict," says Pantoja. Twenty-five per cent of CFP sales are re-invested in peace building work such as training in negotiation and violence reduction strategies.
"We are extremely excited by the possibilities of introducing Coffee for Peace at the 2014 Junos. I would love to introduce my indigenous coffee growers to any Canadian music artist willing to visit us," she adds.

CFP has provided a valuable medium for dialogue between rebel groups, indigenous tribes,  corporate plantations, and the Filipino government's military. CFP's partner,  Peacebuilder's Community Inc., has been instrumental in contributing a channel for dialogue between the government and the Moro Islamic Rebel Front, and other stakeholder after a conflict that erupted in 2007. PBCI is also supported by Mennonite Church Canada.

(Canadian Christian News Service, www.coffeeforpeace.com)

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About the author

Kelly Rempel is the Senior Editor for ChristianWeek.