This month’s brew won’t just be another cup of coffee, it will be coffee with a cause brought to you by the Able Coffee Collaborative. Beware, there is quite a read ahead of you, but we promise it’s worth it!
Claire from The Coffee Educators AND Able Coffee is one busy lady, so I will attempt to explain what they do, why they do it and who they do it with, because there is an amazing group of Kiwi businesses working together to do some pretty cool stuff for communities and people living with a disability!
First up is the Able Coffee Collaborative, your local Artisan Roaster for May. These guys are pretty darn special as they are dedicated to sharing their passion for coffee and people by challenging society’s traditional ways of operating. They completely redefine what Fairtrade means and are pushing the boundaries from what was a fair wage fight, to include a wider range of social issues such as equality, diversity, inclusion, education and more. If you’re a Fairtrade fan, then you can’t get any more Fairtrade than this Month’s brew called the Lucy Blend.
The team at Able don’t just talk the talk, they follow through on all their values and believe that sharing the stories behind the coffee variety, the flavour profile, the origins and the people that grow the coffee are so incredibly important. This is why they have teamed up with another amazing organisation called the Lucy Foundation.
The Lucy Foundation is a social enterprise that has been named after Co-Founder Robbie Francis’ Prosthetic Leg – Nicknamed ‘Lucy Leg’. The foundation was established after Robbie spent time over-seas as a Disability Rights Monitor and witnessed some fairly dark experiences. She returned home empowered to really make a difference and assist people living with disabilities to find work, experience inclusion and equality.
How does this all fit in with coffee? Well, The Lucy Foundation first established a team in 2016 in Pluma Hidalgo – an isolated coffee-farming village, in the mountains of Mexico. The team had many sustainable, environmental and community-based goals for this project, but a key achievement was to be inclusive of disabled people! How amazing is that, well actually it shouldn’t be that ‘blow your mind amazing’ but businesses in our current landscape don’t usually work hard enough to make this the norm…yet! These people and their families are receiving training and employment within the local coffee industry, from beekeeping to barista training, to coffee harvesting and more! This is a true case of you really knowing the journey from farmer to your cup, an exchange between people. The Lucy Foundation assists in exporting these green beans to NZ, which Able Coffee then roasts to perfection for their single origin and the Lucy blend in your box this month.
Meanwhile the Coffee Educators also based in NZ are working around the clock to create inclusive environments and collabs with businesses here in the homeland. This involves working with cafes to make coffee catch up’s available to everyone, facilitating training and up-skilling in the coffee and hospitality industry and assisting people with disabilities to find employment.
In your coffee boxes this month you are receiving something a little extra – a booklet in celebration of NZ Sign Language week, which just won the NZSL Accessible Service Award! Claire’s other business, Coffee Educators ltd has been hard at work creating this booklet to promote New Zealand’s 3rd official language and to teach fellow Kiwi’s how to order your favourite coffee. Why not try this out at your local café, or test it out on your Hubby or child when placing your Mother’s Day cuppa in bed order? Let’s break the norm people and help these top-notch organisations redefine what inclusion means in NZ!
Here at On the Grind we have such mad respect for Able Coffee and The Lucy Foundation, words can’t even describe as it truly hits close to home! If you want to read up, in more detail on Able Coffee then click here and for The Lucy Foundation here.