I believe that it’s important to support businesses that give back to others. As a consumer, I like to know that my money is going towards companies that are ethical and socially responsible. Guayaki is a yerba mate company that lives up to these standards and then some.
Yerba mate is a beverage that originated in the South American rainforest. While it’s similar to tea, it has a higher caffeine content (it’s closer to coffee than to tea, in fact). Guayaki makes yerba mate in bag, loose-leaf, and bottled form. They offer a wide variety of flavors too, which was a surprise to me because I figured the only flavor of yerba mate was, well, yerba mate. For the purpose of this review, I was able to sample both Chai Spice Mate and Mate Chocolatte. I enjoyed both flavors and found that the Mate Chocolatte was very similar in flavor to a chocolate tea I had–the rich flavor of cocoa is unmistakeable. I added some soymilk it was a great afternoon pick-me-up–lighter than hot chocolate, but still a little bit decadent.
That said, I want to share more about Guayaki’s commitment to sustainability and fair trade with you. Deforestation is a serious problem in South America and through Guayaki’s innovative market-driven restoration program, farmers receive living wage jobs cultivating yerba mate in exchange for helping to repopulate the rainforest with native hardwood trees. Because yerba mate is grown in the shade of the rainforest, this is a system that makes perfect sense–more rainforest means more yerba mate and more yerba mate means more income that can be put back into reforestation efforts.
Guayaki has been working with the local Ache Guayaki tribe in its mate cultivation and reforestation mission and right now, Guayaki could use your help in helping the tribe. Guayaki is part of the 2011 BBC World Challenge and if they win, the Ache Guayaki will be able to set up a food security program that includes a community garden and animal husbandry project–in three years, this will lead to the entire tribe having food security on a continual basis. Please vote for Guayaki now by clicking below–voting ends on November 11!
As you can see, this is a company and a program that I feel passionate about, which is why I decided to write about it here. I hope you will take the time to vote for Guayaki (I promise, it takes under a minute!).
You can find Guayaki at a store near you by using their handy-dandy Store Locator. Would you like to try some Guayaki yerba mate yourself? Well, you’re in luck because Guayaki is giving one of my readers a $25 gift code to their online store!
Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Guayaki. I received a sample of Guayaki yerba mate for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own.