TLF Aotearoa

Our goal is to revolutionise the way we do business by creating a culture of inclusivity in trade. To do this, we are helping create an entire supply chain of coffee that is inclusive of people with disabilities from the country of origin (Mexico) to the country of consumption (Aotearoa New Zealand).

In 2016, we established a team on the ground in Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca, Mexico, where we work with indigenous coffee-farming families and disabled people to regenerate the environment, while developing a culture of inclusivity and empowerment through the production of specialty Pluma coffee beans. The coffee is shipped to Aotearoa New Zealand by John Burton Ltd, and lovingly roasted by Able Coffee Collaborative – both organisations who support the kaupapa of disability rights, inclusion and diversity. Together with our partners, we have helped to create what is believed to be the world’s first entirely inclusive value chain of coffee – from farmer (Mexico) to consumer (Aotearoa). Not only is our coffee delicious (2020 cupping score 86/100, placing it in the ‘specialty’ range), but it also cares for people and the environment. 

While our team in Mexico is working incredibly hard to bring us coffee that is good for human rights, the environment, the economy AND is inclusive of people with disabilities, our team in Aotearoa New Zealand is also busy looking at ways we can create inclusive and accessible employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities. 

We are excited to announce the launch of a new initiative in 2021 that will see the implementation of TLF’s charitable objectives here in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

To do this, we are setting up a coffee education and distribution centre in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton). Once the coffee has been roasted, it will be sent to Kirikiriroa where we are partnering with local charity Recreate MOXIE (Meaningful Opportunities X’ing Into Employment), which supports young people with learning disabilities into training and employment. From early 2021, three to four young people with learning (intellectual) disabilities will attend training sessions at the TLF dispatch centre in Kirikiriroa, where they will learn about the origins of coffee, the coffee value chain, coffee equipment, hospitality, as well as the dispatch of TLF coffee (weighing; grinding; bagging; sealing; stamping; and couriering). At the end of their placement, it is expected that at least one young person with a learning disability will gain part-time living wage employment at our TLF dispatch centre.

Keep an eye on this space over the next year as we expand and grow into the future!

TLF team members sit around a table in Kirikiriroa. They are women with and without disabilities.

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© 2021 The Lucy Foundation.