About our Foundation

The Lorna Young Foundation (LYF) is a UK registered charity that helps smallholder farmer groups and co-operatives in developing countries to gain better access to information and expertise, and to improve their livelihoods.

Our work helps them to add value to what they grow and lift themselves out of poverty; see Our Programmes page to find out more about our Farmer-Radio projects.

We also work with communities in the UK, helping them to learn ethical trading skills and to create fair trade social enterprises, creating work and training opportunities and connecting producer and consumer societies. This involves the creation of community-owned ethical trading social enterprises that move value along the supply chain and support communities at both ends of the process.

We are all about self-determination for communities – both in developing countries and in the UK – offering the knowledge and capacity they need in order to take more control of their livelihoods.

What We Do and Why

We create innovative projects with smallholder farmer organisations and communities, education institutions and industry. We ensure that our development work respects and reflects the cultural sensitivities of the communities in which they are set.

Whether based in rural farming areas in the developing world or in deprived urban areas in the UK, our programmes are designed around the needs and aspirations of local people.

The LYF was set up in 2003 in memory of the late Lorna Young, a pioneer of fair trade in the UK, see Our Mission, Values and Lorna. The LYF shares Lorna’s belief that farmers in developing countries can lift themselves out of poverty – they just need help to gain better commercial knowledge and access to markets.

We are an unusual charity. We take the approach of listening to the needs of farmers and working to match them with the interests and concerns of consumers. Our Board and Executive, our Partners and our Supporters comprise some of the most respected and visionary individuals and organisations within the ethical trading sector, see Our Board and Team.