DAVAO CITY – The world-class coffee beans produced in Mindanao will soon be available on Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer based in Seattle, Washington in the United States, according to Felicitas B. Pantoja, award-winning social entrepreneur who is the chief-executive-officer (CEO) and founder of the Coffee for Peace, Inc.

Pantoja 1024x768 - Mindanao-grown coffee beans to be sold on Amazon
Robusta farmers from Barangay Binaton who are now packaging their coffee as BBTAFLA Fine Robusta Coffee. BBTAFLA is Bagobo Tagabawa Farmers Livelihood Association (BBTAFLA) in Digos, Davao del Sur. (Photo courtesy of Felicitas Pantoja / MANILA BULLETIN)

Pantoja, the lone Asian awardee of the prestigious 2020 Oslo Business for Peace Award, said in an email that the Coffee for Peace was approved by the American multinational technology firm last September 24 to be included in the roster of products on the e-commerce website, which would widen the Mindanawon coffee growers’ market reach.

“The benefit of digital selling is that they would be able to add to their existing form of marketing, by reaching would-be buyers online, which would mean wider exposure,” she added.

She said they would use Amazon to sell the green beans from Mindanao.

She said that they were also helping coffee farmers transition to online selling to bridge the gap between sellers and buyers through other digital platforms, including Facebook, Google my Business, and Instagram, to cope with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the thriving local coffee industry.

“Coffee for Peace can help by marketing the farmers and their coffee by promoting it as the one they use for their shop and signature drink. Another one would be toll roasting for the farmers and helping them market it online. They can bring the green beans to our roastery for roasting, which would add value to their product,” she added.

She added that the Coffee for Peace was also currently working on the accreditation of its facilities with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which could serve as a gateway for the Mindanao-grown coffee beans’ entry to other countries.

She said that the Coffee for Peace’s page would be transformed into an online meeting platform to link growers and potential buyers.

She added using this platform could assure buyers that the roasted coffee beans will be of high quality.

She said that farmers, who would be able to use Coffee for Peace Platform, should have undergone their training, and are members of the Kapeyapaan Farmers Association (KFA).

Pantoja added that she wanted her company to be a medium to close the gap between growers and buyers, as the micro-small holder farmers would not have enough capital to have their facilities certified with Global Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

“This also protects the buyers that what they are drinking is clean, safe and good quality coffee,” she said.

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