On International Womens’ Day 2023, we thought we should mention a few very special women in particular.
First of all, we always want to pay tribute to our namesake, Lorna Young herself. Lorna was the key player in terms of banging on supermarket doors back in the 1980s’ – convincing them that buying fairly traded coffee and tea was the absolute least that they could do in terms of supporting the world’s impoverished smallholders who provide the vast majority of our imported food and drink.
Without Lorna, the UK – if not the world – would be much further behind when it comes to fairly traded products being a staple in most of our cupboards.
Secondly, we want to honour our wonderful friend and collaborator – Cristina Talens. Cris came to work with us after she headed up ethical trading at the wonderful Betty and Taylors of Harrogate. As someone who spent a lot of time out in the field (literally) with coffee and tea growers, Cris was all too aware of the dreadful struggles facing smallholders – and in particular the women farmers – when it came to possessing enough knowledge and training to grow better crops, combat climate change and have more say in the running of the farmer co-operatives.
Cris’ knowledge was crucial in helping us to dream up our idea for Farmers’ Voice Radio and since she came on board with us – the initiative has gone from strength to strength.
Cris now owns and runs her own company – Source – which also makes the UK’s first sustainable and carbon-neutral coffee! Despite being a woman of many talents, Cris is still an advisor to the LYF and is a very dear part of the LYF family.
Finally, of course, we want to pay tribute to the millions of women smallholder farmers; carrying out back-breaking work every day as they grow, cultivate and pick their crops, whilst at the same time battling climate change, bringing up children, running a household, looking after elders and supporting their communities. Without these women, the rest of the world would lack so many of our staple foods and our luxuries.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!
Please help us to further support women smallholders across the world, by donating to our crucially important work here!