Mate tea is the main ingredient in the most stimulating of our teas– and it’s the national drink of Argentina. We get the best organic and fairly traded leaves from the Kraus family.
Argentina’s people have valued Yerba Mate for centuries for its stimulating effect and characteristic taste. Traditionally, the caffeine-rich tea is drunk with hot water from a gourd through a metal straw. The growing practices today are anything but traditional – environmentally destructive monoculture run purely for profit. The Kraus family shows that there is another way. The third generation farms the land according to organic principles, and their exemplary respect for social standards has been awarded by the “Fair for Life” organisation. In order to preserve the endangered diversity of wildlife in the country, the Kraus family have also started a reforesting programme. Every year, hundreds of young trees are planted, which serve as breeding and nesting places for birds. This is a successful model, also because the Kraus family have got together with other cooperatives in the region in order to offer an alternative to exploitation and environmental destruction.
At Kraus, the employees decide how the Fairtrade bonus is to be spent. In the past few years, a piece of land was bought and made available to the employees and their families. Also, the bonus bought building materials for erecting new houses. The many children on the mate plantation are delighted to have a place to play which was built with the proceeds of Fairtrade.