When Guayaki stepped up and claimed that they are now offering the world’s first Fair Trade Certified yerba mate’, I thought “Really? Are they really the first?” With so many mate’ brands out there, I thought surely there must be others. But after Googling around a bit, it seems that yes, indeed, Guayaki is it.
Your first question perhaps: What is yerba mate? It’s Argentina’s national tea and comes from a shrub, actually a relative of holly, that grows in subtropical South America. Yerba Mate and Argentina’s social culture are tightly intertwined – you’ll almost never see a group hanging around without simultaneously passing around a gourd.
And your second question: What is Fair Trade? It’s a global certification which ensures that all the workers (the South American mate’ farmers, for example) are treated humanely and paid a living wage. It also ensures there’s no child labor and no toxic chemical exposure for the workers involved. Fair Trade Certification is a positive way to make sure that everybody involved in a business wins.