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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Guayakí Yerba Mate Helps the Ache Tribe

Ever heard of the BBC World Challenge? We hadn’t until one of our vendors became a finalist this year!  The purpose of the challenge is to “highlight and reward small businesses around the world that bring economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities through innovation and enterprise at a grassroots level.”

Guayakí, a company whose yerba mate we’re pleased to carry, has been selected as one of 12 finalists (out of 640 entries!) for their partnership with the Ache tribe in Paraguay. Watch their video, read more about their work with the Ache and then vote for Guayakí on the BBC World Challenge web site. If Guayakí wins, the Ache tribe will receive $20,000 to support food security in their local community. Even if you haven’t tried their delicious yerba mate yet, you’ve probably seen their distinctive yellow and green packaging in our stores. Guayakí’s organic yerba mate is available in loose leaf and tea bags, ready-to-drink in bottles or cans and energy shots. Robustly flavored and naturally caffeinated, Guayakí likes to say yerba mate combines the strength of coffee with the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate. Yerba mate’s been consumed for hundreds of years by people in South America, particularly in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. In the rainforests of Paraguay, Guayakí partners with the indigenous Ache tribe to grow, market and sell shade-grown yerba mate. Shade-grown means rainforest trees don’t need to be cut down to make room for the yerba mate plants. It’s part of Guayakí’s broader mission “to steward and restore 200,000 acres of South American Atlantic rainforest and create over 1,000 living wage jobs by 2020 by leveraging our Market Driven Restoration business model.”   This mission, partnership and business model captured the attention of the BBC World News and got Guayakí a place in the World Challenge finals. Voting for the BBC World Challenge ends November 11. While you can only vote once, there’s plenty of time to spread the word to your friends. The winner will be announced on November 26. Additional details are available on the BBC World Challenge website. Show your support for their mission by voting for Guayakí in the World Challenge , and remember, “the more mate you drink, the more rainforest you protect.” Have you tried yerba mate? What do you like about it?