Guayaki Yerba Mate

The Guayaki Story

We are working to make organic, fair-trade yerba mate the mainstream energy source of choice, and prove that a company can be profitable while operating sustainably. We are an organization of individuals whose daily work is to bring you the finest yerba mate on the planet. We started in 1996 with a vision of protecting and restoring the South American rainforests and empowering the native forest people, and with your help, we are achieving that goal, sip by sip. Here is the story of our humble beginning.

In 1996, Guayaki was seeded in California's central coast by two university buddies.  Alex Pryor from Buenos Aires, and David Karr from Northern California. As good friends and passionate yerba mate drinkers, David and Alex set out to share the yerba mate plant with the world, recognizing that people were in need of a nourishing source of energy and a healthy dose of optimism. 

Growing up, we always heard “money does not grow on trees.” Well, today we are proving that “money does grow on trees” and rainforest-grown yerba mate is the new green currency. It provides the peoples of the rainforest with income as well as the ability to steward their land.

In 2009, Guayakí became the first Fair Trade Certified yerba mate company in the world thru IMO.

Fair Trade Certified: Fair For Life (IMO)
In 2009, Guayakí became the first Fair Trade Certified yerba mate company in the world.

Guayaki is a member of Fair For Life, a Social & Fairtrade certification by the  Institute for Marketecology ( IMO).  Guayaki seeks to continually source for fair trade ingredients. We look for suppliers and producers that provide a fair wage, assist in socially responsible projects  & protect the environmental  in and around their production and processing plants.  We always search out the finest organic ingredients and look for sources that are fair trade certified. Guayaki selects supplier companies  that are not engaged in habitat destruction and who work on continuous improvement of their energy use.

Once we receive fair trade product at Guayaki, we follow the highest standards of good manufacturing practices in the receiving, storing and blending of all fair trade ingredients. We nurture our trade relationships with these fine suppliers and always seek ways to improve our social and environment responsibility.

"Fair for life" is a brand neutral third party certification program for social accountability and fairtrade in agricultural, manufacturing and trading operations.

Guayakí is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.

Guayakí adheres to the principles of the Fair Trade Federation.  We pay more than twice the world market price for our yerba mate, and provide a living wage to our growers as well as the artisans that craft our gourds and bombillas.  Our goal is to encourage a healthy balance of family life and work. We encourage you to purchase fair trade yerba mate.

Guayakí is privileged to sell the gourds and bombillas of four Argentine artists. They earn several times minimum wage and above living wage for Argentina.  Rodolfo is able to make his entire living from selling his handcrafted gourds. Marcelo is able to create his gourds and bombillas not in a factory, but at home with the help of his wife, Monica – another Guayakí artist, and their two sons.

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