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Guayakí Yerba Mate - A Powerful Rainforest Experience

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Buzz in the Press

Buzz in the Press

Organic Drink Company’s New Yerba Mate Beverages Support Reforestation and Sustainable Land Use Via Their Award-Winning ‘Market Driven Restoration’ Business Model

Sebastopol, California (March 11, 2008) – While most green-minded companies are scrambling to find ways to buy carbon offsets outside their own value chain to achieve an environmental footprint that is carbon neutral, an award-winning organic drink company has set the bar much higher by announcing the first carbon subtracting products.  One-pound packages of San Mateo Loose Yerba Mate and Traditional Loose Yerba Mate, new organic beverages from Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products (www.guayaki.com), subtract more carbon that they emit during the entire process from the harvesting in the rainforests of South America all the way to the store shelf in the U.S. 

This unique carbon subtracting status is achieved primarily due to the vast carbon sequestration that occurs in the vibrant South American rainforest where Guayaki’s organic yerba mate is sustainably harvested under the canopy of towering hardwood trees.  Each 16-ounce package of organic, shade-grown and fairly-traded San Mateo Loose Yerba Mate and Traditional Loose Yerba Mate leads to subtraction of 573 grams of carbon.  The assessment was performed by Conscious Brands   (www.consciousbrands.com), in accordance with the CarbonLabels.org standard.  Conscious Brands determined that the growing of the Guayaki Yerba Mate in the natural rainforest absorbs 875g, while the carbon emissions from the processing and transportation of the products are much less: 220g for processing, 11g for packaging and 71g for transportation.  

CarbonLabels.org is an initiative by the Carbon Labeling Institute (www.carbonlabelinstitute.org), a Canadian not-for-profit that houses the North American publicly-available carbon label standard for the organic food industry.  The beautiful new packaging for both the San Mateo and Traditional Loose Yerba Mate proudly featuresthe carbon label, which highlights the overall score of the product and the breakdown in the categories of growing, processing, packaging and moving.  While the carbon label concept is relatively new to North America, it has been established in Europe for the past year.  The North American standard was inspired by the Carbon Trust and it follows similar protocol. “When an organization makes the commitment to lowering their environmental footprint, we find the biggest reductions can be made by looking at the complete life-cycle of their product,” says Rob Sinclair, the founder and Sustainability Strategist for Conscious Brands.  “By displaying a carbon label on your packaging, it is a message to the end consumer that ‘this organization’ is proactive in addressing environmental concerns and actively looking at ways to reducing their impact,” adds Sinclair.

 In 1997, Guayaki was founded on the belief that the rainforest is more valuable when it is left standing, and over the past decade the company has been gathering a wealth of scientific data to quantify the economic and environmental benefits of a thriving rainforest.  “We have always known that our yerba mate projects have a profound effect toward protection and restoration of the rainforest and that the health of the rainforest plays a key role in global climate change, but it has been a challenge to quantify,” says Chris Mann, CEO of Guayaki.  “The results of the assessment and certification for the San Mateo and Traditional Loose Yerba Mate products have been truly amazing and our employees are proud to be at the forefront of the carbon subtraction movement,” adds Mann. 

Guayaki Yerba Mate is a Nourishing, Green Source of Energy

Guayaki Yerba Mate is a healthy coffee, tea and energy drink alternative that is one of the hottest drink trends in North America.  Millions of people drink mate every day and celebrate the flavor, energy and nutrients it offers. A nourishing, green source of energy, rainforest yerba mate delivers a unique trio of stimulants: Caffeine, Theobromine, and Theophylline; as well as 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and more antioxidants than highly-touted Green tea.  Unlike other functional and energy drink concoctions on the market today that feature synthetic and isolate ingredients, Guayaki follows a “whole plant - whole health” herbal tradition that unleashes the natural form of these nutrients in a way that the body can easily absorb and process them.  Rainforest grown yerba mate is known for its adaptogen-like properties, which includes an increase in the body’s resistance to the debilitating effects of stress.

Robust Sales of Guayaki Yerba Mate is a Strong Incentive for Sustainable Land Use in the Rainforest

Guayaki began as an ambitious college class project a decade ago.  Alex Pryor and David Karr, founders of Guayaki, started a ‘green’ beverage revolution by bringing a cultural South American rainforest drink to the U.S. and creating innovative styles that suit the tastes preferred by Americans. These social entrepreneurs’ success growing the marketplace for organic yerba mate on this continent has created economic opportunities that empower indigenous communities to protect the rainforest and their way of life.  The Guayaki co-founders call this award-winning method of resource protection supported by consumers of sustainable products Market-Driven Restoration™.  “Our goal was to create consumer demand for healthy rainforest products that can be grown sustainably and profitably in the natural rainforest, thereby providing native people with an alternative to destructive land use practices,” states co-founder David Karr.  Vast acres of rainforest are being wiped out for cattle grazing, huge soy plantations and timber harvesting.  Not only does Guayaki create a strong incentive for people to leave the forest standing, the company also has several projects underway to replant native tree species in deforested areas.

Guayaki pays small family farms in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay a fair trade price that is more than twice the market rate for their yerba mate. In these regions, Guayaki’s forest-grown mate provides more income per acre than cattle grazing and commodity agricultural products. “There is no doubt that paying a fair, premium price creates an incentive for farmers to focus on organic quality and to continue on with sustainable land use that nurtures the rainforest,” notes Karr. “Its also rewarding to see how sales of Guayaki products support reforestation, upgrades to housing and schools, and improved medical care,” says Karr. 

Source: Planet Friendly PR