What we do
The Lucy Foundation (TLF) is a disability-led Kiwi charity that is actively transforming the global coffee industry through inclusive, ethical and environmentally regenerative trade.
In 2021 we formally established a coffee dispatch and education centre in Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), which hosts the Seed Training Programme. The programme’s name comes from TLF’s guiding Mexican proverb, which says “they tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds”.
The terms ‘seed’ and ‘semilla’ (Spanish word for seed, pronounced ‘se-mee-yah’) are symbolic of our work, and of disabled people who have been, and continue to be, subjugated. Semilla is the name of our signature coffee blend that we sell through the dispatch centre. It is also the name of the TLF Mexico team’s disability inclusive cafe in Pluma Hidalgo, Mexico.
The Seed Training Programme supports young people with learning (intellectual) disabilities to attend paid work experience (living wage), where they learn about the origins of coffee, the coffee value chain, coffee equipment, hospitality, sales, customer service, as well as contribute to the dispatch of coffee to customers (for example weighing, grinding, stamping, bagging, sealing and couriering).
At the end of their placement, it is expected that the trainees will transition to part-time casual contracts (living wage) supporting the delivery of the TLF value chain, and/or into paid employment in the local coffee industry or another industry of choice.