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.
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.
We use a twin-track approach.
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, including teaching and making organic fertilisers and treatments, harvesting techniques and picking processes.
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 provide opportunities to help them develop the skills needed to reach those goals (for example: communication, health and safety, punctuality, literacy and numeracy).
The TLF Mexico team also run Casa Semilla - a cafe and community hub that showcases our coffee, disability inclusion as well as wellbeing and nourishment.
To visit Casa Semilla, or to arrange a coffee tour, please email Catalina (TLF Mexico Director) at email@example.com.