Our Mission, Values and Lorna

Our Mission:

To reduce poverty through helping disadvantaged groups via the medium of ETHICAL TRADING.

Overseas, the LYF helps smallholder farmer groups and co-operatives  to gain better access to information and expertise and to improve their livelihoods; supporting them to add value to what they grow and lift themselves out of poverty. See Our Programmes page to find out more about our  projects – and in particular about LYF Farmer-Radio.

In the UK, our mission is the same – but we go about it in a different way. We work with marginalised groups (i.e. youth at risk of long-term unemployment, those with disabilities, BaME groups) helping them to learn ETHICAL trading skills and to create fair trade social enterprises; many of which connect them back to the producers and farmers.


Our Values:

We want to see a world where all producers have fair access to local and international markets and can build sustainable livelihoods.  We work with all democratically organised producer organisations and do not restrict our ventures to a limited number of producer organisations, countries or types of crops grown.

As well as believing that bespoke business, enterprise and marketing education can empower producers, we also believe in the power of community.  We believe that by raising awareness of trade injustices at both ends of the supply chain, and supporting the development of community trading initiatives – in particular amongst disadvantaged groups in wealthier countries – a new movement can be developed; one that stimulates consumer demand for ethically traded goods and supports better production and supply.

Lorna Young

Lorna was an incredible, driven Scotswoman.  Her passion was for justice and greater chances for those who are marginalised. She was responsible for persuading supermarket chains to sell fairly traded coffee for the first time.

Lorna was a leading member of the co-operative movement, worked for Equal Exchange and was one of the founders of Cafédirect – their first Marketing Manager.

Lorna died from a congenital heart condition in 1996, when she was only in her 40’s.  But her incredible commitment lives on.  All of us involved in the work of the LYF strive to continue her vision and values. We are frequently in touch with Lorna’s family and are delighted that they take a keen interest in our work and that they approve of our projects and overall direction.