TLF Mexico

Farmer to Consumer – A Journey of Inclusion

From farmer to consumer, disability inclusion and employment is what we do!Did you know that at every stage of our coffee's journey, disability rights and product quality are top priorities? AND GET THIS – every one of the businesses in our value chain is run by people with disabilities!@The Lucy Foundation (5 years – inclusive/organic/accessible agriculture and employment of people with disabilities at origin)🌱John Burton Ltd (3 decades – disability inclusive coffee importer)🚢Able Coffee Collaborative (3 years – disability inclusive coffee roaster)☕LIKE and SHARE if you think this is RAD!!#DisabilityInclusion #DisabilityRights #FilterCoffeeNotPeople #TheBestCoffeeOfAllIsCoffeeForALL #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs[Video description: A short video showing scenes of disabled people and co workers throughout the value chain – from Mexico to New Zealand.]

Posted by The Lucy Foundation on Friday, 31 January 2020

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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And the sorting begins....

Each family is paid by the weight of the coffee they sort, meaning they can take as much or as little time as needed. Some family members are fast, some family members are slower, but when they work together they get it done!

"Today we started selecting the coffee. Pepe, Juan and Doña Victoria helped us, carefully inspecting each grain with love and joy. These meetings are where we learn and talk, and where everyone shares their story of the day." - Cata

#TheBestCoffeeOfAllIsCoffeeForAll #DisabilityInclusion #DisabilityEmployment #WorkingTogether #SharingStories
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Do you have a laptop you no longer want or need? In a few weeks Ryan Sanders will be returning to Mexico, and we want to send a laptop with him to give to Cata and the crew. At the moment they are using a phone for all their updates, research, budgets, and admin. A laptop would make such a difference!

If you can help, flick us an email on [email protected]

#recyle #reuse #socialenterprise #disabilityrights #disabilityinclusion #accessibility #accessibletechnology

[Image description: crossed legs next to an open laptop on the floor.]
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2 weeks ago

The Lucy Foundation

The next step of our process is to weigh and allocate 'gold coffee' to each family we partner with. A key aspect of our business model is ensuring people with and without disabilities have the opportunity to work together on shared tasks such as sorting coffee - we believe this is one of the best ways to dismantle ableist attitudes.

Of course, delivering bags of gold coffee around the village is thirsty work, so the team stopped by our friend Rosie's cafe - La boveda del cafe pluma hidalgo - for a coffee when they were done!

#belonging #disabilityinclusion #thebestcoffeeofalliscoffeeforall
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2 weeks ago

The Lucy Foundation

While us Kiwis have spent the summer enjoying 2019's Pluma coffee, over in Mexico a fresh crop of coffee cherries has been picked and dried, and is now being processed by the disabled people we employ, together with their families. Over the next couple of weeks the team wants share their process with us using photos.

First step: remove the outer husk from the coffee seed. "The retrilla process is where a special machine removes the parchment to free the seed or kernel, resulting in 'gold coffee'. Our team will then sort through the gold coffee to select the best beans for shipment to New Zealand. In these pictures you can see Juanito placing the parchment into the retrilla machine, and showing you how gold coffee turns out after this process." - Cata

#DisabilityInclusion #TheBestCoffeeOfAllIsCoffeeForAll #FilterCoffeeNotPeople #InclusiveCoffee #SocialEnterprise
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© 2020 The Lucy Foundation.