TLF Mexico

The Lucy Foundation’s model shows the value of diversity in business. We work with communities to establish their social, economic and environmental needs, before working together to calculate how we can collaboratively meet these needs through sustainable trade.

In 2016, The Lucy Foundation established a team on the ground in Pluma Hidalgo – an isolated coffee-farming village, high in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. The aim of the Pluma Coffee Project is to transform the global coffee industry by developing a sustainable value chain of coffee that is not only good for the environment, the community, and the economy, but is also inclusive of disabled people, from farmer to consumer.

We do this using a twin-track approach.

Two boxes show the twin-track approach. Text reads: Twin-Track Approach. The first box under reads: Track One Ensuring that people with disabilities have access to their basic needs in all interventions and projects on an equal basis with others in the community. The other box reads: Track Two Addressing the specific needs of individuals with disabilities to empower them and improve their situation. Under the boxes reads Equality of Rights and Opportunities for People with Disabilities.

Track one workshops are run by local agricultural experts. Workshops are open to the whole community, and designed in a way that means anyone of any ability, age, gender or background can participate in a full and meaningful way. Track one workshops are focused on environmental wellbeing, and the production of coffee: teaching and making organic fertilisers and treatments, harvesting techniques, picking processes, and so on.

Track two workshops, on the other hand, are designed to support disabled community members into training and employment, and the realisation of their human rights. Together with paid work experience, track two workshops help disabled people set goals and then provide opportunities to help develop the skills needed to reach those goals (for example: communication, health and safety, punctuality, literacy and numeracy, etc.).

Since establishing a team on the ground The Lucy Foundation has successfully:

  • Hosted monthly track one inclusive and accessible agricultural workshops with coffee-farming families and the wider community;
  • Created thousands of litres of organic bio-fertiliser and organic insect and disease treatment made for crops;
  • Helped develop a local barista training program (also delivered in sign language);
  • Set up beehives to increase coffee quality through pollination and as additional income for the families;
  • Supported five disabled people and their families into paid, part-time contract work;
  • Launched Pluma coffee and cascara (coffee) tea in New Zealand;
  • Increased the quantity of Pluma products in New Zealand by 2700%.

So why coffee? Coffee is a good source of seasonal income for farmers in this remote region of Mexico where poverty is high. Pluma coffee is exclusively grown in Pluma Hidalgo, Mexico and is new to coffee drinkers in Aotearoa New Zealand. Coffee is the economic backbone of Pluma Hidalgo with many families having a small number of trees in their backyard. We work side-by-side with these coffee farmers and their families to help improve their crops and promote inclusive economic opportunities within the community.

In New Zealand, The Lucy Foundation partners with organisations, such as John Burton Ltd (coffee importer/exporter), Able. Coffee Collaborative (coffee roaster), and Coffee Educators (barista training school). Like The Lucy Foundation, these are all businesses run by disabled people, and that support disability rights within the coffee industry.

In this way, coffee is being used as a catalyst for change, promoting inclusive and accessible business in Aotearoa New Zealand, Mexico, and beyond.

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3 weeks ago

The Lucy Foundation

Is it the weekend already!? We've been so busy that we forgot to update you on our compost and fertiliser... lovingly handmade with disability inclusion and environmental regeneration in mind.

Check out the latest update from the team in Mexico...

#Organic #EnvironmentalRegeneration #DisabilityInclusion #DisabilityLeadership #PlumaCoffeeProject #Bocashi #OrganicFertilizer #NZInMexico

[Video description:
- Opening screen shows graphics of people with different disabilities and the words "The Lucy Foundation, farmer to consumer, inclusive coffee for all"
- Slide: Compost & Fertiliser update
- A video of two men using spades to turn a large pile of bocashi compost. They are working inside the bamboo TLF greenhouse. Text overlay reads: "Fidel and Elias are turning the bocashi. It has been fermenting for 5 days. See how it steams? This is because the materials are 'cooking'. As they turn it, it gets colder. After 15 days it will be ready for the nursery."
- Slide: Fertiliser for the coffee trees.
- Zooming out on a photo of a bucket containing brown glossy liquid.
- Video of an older man and younger man. Text overlay reads: "Pepe adds the fertiliser concentrate, while Don Epifanio waters it down."
- Video of Pepe. He is wearing a green cap, white t-shirt and is smiling as he uses a hand pump to pump fertiliser from a pack on his back. He is surrounded by coffee seedlings. Text overlay reads: "Now it's application time! Pepe uses a manual applicator. Ensuring maximum nutrients for the baby coffee plants. Look how cute a little they are!"
- Another video of Pepe spraying plants. Text overlay reads: "Let's go!"
- A photo of a young woman: "Cata's turn (TLF Mexico Director)."
- A photo of an older man leaning over coffee seedlings. Text overlay reads: "Meanwhile, Don Epifanio is weeding. So the weeds don't steal all the nutrients."
- Zooming in on coffee seedlings. Text overlay reads: "In a few years, these seedlings will produce coffee cherries ready to be picked, processed and shipped to Aotearoa NZ. Good luck little friends!"
- Slide: Music by Muchas Gracias! Buy your inclusive coffee beans now:
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1 month ago

The Lucy Foundation

As part of a recent Track Two disability workshops, the TLF crew went to the mountains to collect microorganisms - the architects of life. Microorganisms help to enrich the bocashi fertiliser, activate and regenerate the soil through fermented bioprep, accelerate the decomposition of organic matter and strengthen the health of plants, animals and humans.

In these photos, the team have tipped the organic matter onto a clean surface so they can remove the green leaves. They will then mix the forest mulch with wheat bran and rock meal. Molasses is dissolved in a little water before being added. The team then knead the mixture with their hands. Finally, the mixture is put inside a sealed plastic drum, where it it will work its magic over 30 days, resulting in a rich fertiliser that will be applied to local coffee crops.

#organicfertiliser #organicfarming #disabilityinclusion #disabilityrights #environmentalregeneration #coffeefarming
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1 month ago

The Lucy Foundation

We need your help! Want to to join our team as a social media extraordinaire? Do you have a few hours up your sleeve to help a Kiwi social enterprise out?

The Lucy Foundation is looking for a volunteer to help out on a casual basis to build our social media presence. The Lucy Foundation is a registered charity that works across Aotearoa New Zealand and Mexico to create a sustainable and disability-inclusive supply chain of coffee.

The role is expected to take 2-3 hours a week. Primary responsibilities will include:

- Creating a social media schedule
- Posting to social media 2-3 times a week
- Creating image descriptions for TLF content
- Generating audio descriptions for video content
- Compiling content for the TLF monthly newsletter

Ideally, the social media extraordinaire will also:

- Know their way around social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), Youtube, Google Drive, Gmail and Mailchimp
- Be motivated to help grow TLF’s social media audience
- Have a basic understanding of Spanish
- Have a basic understanding of disability lingo, and rights-- based approaches to disability
- Be willing to learn!

While this is a volunteer role, we’ll hook you up with some disability-inclusive coffee to keep you caffeinated while you work. To apply please send a CV and a short description of who you are and why you believe you are a good candidate for this role to [email protected]

Disabled people and other minority identities are encouraged to apply, if you have any questions or want to know more about the role please contact us via email.

[Image description: A bag of Lucy coffee sits next to a freshly poured flat white coffee.]
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1 month ago

The Lucy Foundation

Happy Friday everyone!

When they're not building or have their hands deep in soil or coffee beans, these guys are working on their literacy skills. Empowering one another and gaining knowledge helps to develop independence and confidence, and our team in Mexico do this so well!

Purchase your TLF coffee today:

#literacy #socialentrepreneurs #lifeskills #disabilityinclusion #disabilityrights
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1 month ago

The Lucy Foundation

And that's a wrap! The couriers have picked up all of our precious coffee beans that have been processed and hand sorted (with aroha!) by the disabled people and whānau we partner with in Mexico. The beans will now make a two-day journey across country to Veracruz, where a John Burton Ltd ship awaits. This is our BIGGEST export/import yet, and we couldn't have done it without a whole team of volunteers working day and night, in Spanish and English, to make it work. ¡Buen viaje!

#thebestcoffeeofalliscoffeeforall #organiccoffee #disabilityemployment #disabilityinclusion #disabilityrights #nzinmexico

Video description: Cata shows us the sacks of coffee, while Juan and Elias wave. A sped up video of the courier company lugging big sacks of coffee from the TLF house into a truck. A photo with a courier man and Pepe at the back of the truck, and a photo of the truck loaded up and leaving the TLF house. Subtitles:

Cata: Good morning. Here goes our shipment to New Zealand.
Elias: Hi friends!
Cata: Of 11 sacks, each one is 69 kg and 1 little sack of 30 kg to achieve our goal of 720 kg
Elias: Go team!

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