Our story begins with love: not only for the yerba mate, but for another human being as well. It’s the story of a married couple dedicated to the „Drink of Friendship” and of a persistent search for the best yerba in the world. And finally, it is a story of success in a domestic market with a huge international potential
This real yerba mate adventure began in Warsaw in 2004 at the initiative of Iwona and Robert. It was this extraordinary couple who contributed to the growing popularity of yerba mate in Poland, at a time when this brew was practically unknown in our country.
At the time, the couple worked as independent designers and studied modern business models based on raw herbal materials from South America. They had the honour of meeting people from the world of culture and business, but even in this environment, few people had heard of the Drink of Friendship and other exotic plants that the couple often talked about.
Iwona and Robert gathered their knowledge from dozens of articles, mostly in foreign languages. Eventually, they established the „yerbastory.pl” blog, the first website on Paraguayan yerba mate in Poland. At the beginning of their journey, they emphasized the great potential of drinking yerba mate and it’s benefits, like vitality, concentration and peace of the mind. Despite having such a broad concept of yerba and wanting everyone to taste it, when the year 2006 came, the couple still did not have trustworthy suppliers and business partners. The Yerba warehouse that they’ve dreamt of was empty.
A JOURNEY TO THE ORIGIN OF YERBA MATE
For this reason, the day came when Robert made an important decision for their future. He borrowed 800 dollars from his brother and set off for Argentina with the hope of finding ideas and business contacts. Every day and night he travelled thousands of kilometres from plantation to plantation. In doing so, he gained knowledge about yerba mate at its source in South America, and met new friends who drink the „Green Gold of the Indians”.
Thanks to them, Robert soon found himself at INYM, the National Institute of Yerba Mate in Posadas. He was very lucky because the then director of INYM had Polish roots. Robert was introduced to the local yerba world. Moreover, he was able to meet with scientists, lab technicians and owners of smaller and larger companies that grew holy and processed their dried fruit, producing many of the classical yerba mate brands. Robert’s connections quickly extended to individuals and businesses that had been making yerba for generations, not only in Argentina, but also in the neighbouring countries of Brazil and Paraguay. The door to establishing lasting business and friendship relations was open to Robert.
Simultaneously in Poland, Iwona started organising the first deliveries of dried yerba mate. With the help of her family, she also started working in a store offering the most popular yerba mate brands – at the time a complete novelty on the Polish tea and coffee market.
After a fulfilling trip to South America, Robert went back to the country with more ideas. The couple set their sights not only on selling well-known types of yerba, but also on finding or creating a brand that would fully satisfy the tastes of Europeans. What the couple has observed over the years of exploring the secrets of the Drink of Friendship is its extraordinary health properties, but also its distinctive taste, which has not always appealed to nationalities other than those in the centre of South America. Both in Europe and in the USA and Asia, the intense, bitter and often smoky aroma of yerba mate seemed unacceptable. Consumers in these nations expected a slightly different taste from the infusion, which made different ways of producing yerba mate a necessity.
THE PATH TO THE BEST TASTY YERBA MATE ON THE MARKET
The tradition of making yerba, which Iwona and Robert respect so much, consists in drying yerba mate twigs by contact with fire and smoke, followed by a long process of maturing (even 12 months). The resulting brew is strong, very stimulating and exceptionally bitter. However, the couple sensed that looking for a different type of dried yerba mate was important, both for the sake of their customers and for the environment. At the time, there was an increasing debate about ecology and organic food products, as well as agricultural and herbicide-free cultivation.
Iwona and Robert decided that the yerba mate they would create would contain all the characteristics of a valuable product of natural origin, and that it would preserve its fresh taste and valuable nutrients.
After some research and meetings with partners, the couple found the source of their dream yerba – right in the Brazilian rainforest. There, yerba mate grows without human interference, all wild and in harmony with other jungle flora. What’s more, they are harvested by hand every two years, giving them time to regenerate and produce the biologically active substances that have such a great effect on the human body. Our associates in Brazil take care of the production of dried jungle from these bushes at every stage. The plant also meets all the necessary credentials.
After many years of acquiring knowledge, followed by finding foreign partners, and creating national yerba sales networks,Iwona and Robert could finally boast of creating their own, unique brand of yerba mate. Since 2010, it has been widely popular and liked, and our company is constantly growing, giving young people jobs and wanting to provide you with the best quality of yerba mate. Every day, with great passion for the Drink of Friendship, we work on the noble and close to harmony with nature mission of our company.
We want to show the potential of producing and selling yerba mate all over Europe and the world.
The structure of our business is a close combination of three areas: economy, community and the environment.
We build a profitable, economic company, following a strategy of simplicity and a minimalist business model. We focus on a single world of products, deeply understood by ourselves. We work with professional, certified partners in Poland and overseas. We have also developed cost-effective, standardised and direct delivery and sales processes, so that we are close to our customers and can offer them fresh, high-quality products. Simplicity thus ensures our long-term prosperity.
We operate as a social enterprise, nurturing relationships with our partners and employees, as well as their families and the entire network we have built up over the years. We are only interested in intelligent and ethical models of cooperation, based on values such as freedom, independence, trust, motivation, relaxation and pure joy. Regardless of location, we work in harmony with these qualities and identify with the idea of creating our own yerba mate brand. We firmly believe that happy people, who follow their passion, will achieve the very best results.
We are advocates of sustainable, global environmental and economic development. Every action taken by our company is repeatedly carefully considered in terms of environmental standards. We are also committed to the restoration of rainforests as an integral part of our business strategy. That is why an important element of the yerba mate we produce is the way the dried fruit is obtained – by hand, from wild-growing yerba mate bushes that do not come into contact with harmful materials. In this way we try to preserve and cultivate the local ecosystem. In addition, we take special care to keep the environmental impact as low as possible by trading directly and selling yerba mate in eco-friendly packaging. We believe that true, long-term success can only be achieved in collaboration with nature and respect for its laws and its cycles.
The following principles are not only the basis of our business, but also part of the way to become more and more prosperous every day and to ensure our stability in the market.
The dry material used to produce our brand of yerba mate comes from yerba mate bushes growing in the jungle, in the shade of larger plants. It is thus free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GMOs. After harvesting the twigs by hand, the bushes are left to fully recover and gain their power and active compounds from the sun and fertile rainforest soil.
THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF DRYING
We sell fresh and naturally processed yerba mate. During the drying process there is no contact with fire or smoke. The dried tea contains no sticks or dust, only juicy green and aromatic, carefully selected leaves.
In the traditional trade model, the product passes through many intermediate stages (farmers, exporters, importers, wholesalers, retailers) before reaching the consumer. Such long trade routes mean high prices and environmental pollution. That is why we act directly: from our collaborators in South America, through our company, yerba mate goes directly to our customers.
Our brand of yerba mate is packed in 200g, 400g and 1000g packs. This is because dried yerba has a long shelf life (about 2 years) and is consumed practically every day, so it is not economical to offer it in small weights. In addition, our packs are recyclable and our ultimate goal is to have 100% biodegradable packaging.
TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST
We want our customers and partners to know that we care about the high quality of our products and the environment. Our suppliers and collaborators hold a number of certificates, confirming the standard of organic farming they offer. These include: Organico Brasil, USDA Organic, EU-BIO, Fair for Life. In addition, we regularly oversee every stage of production and confection of our yerba mate brand, according to ecological and ethical standards.
COMMITTED TO ECOLOGY
As the company evolves, so do we. Through environmentally friendly actions, we want to repay the world and nature for the opportunities we have been blessed with from Life. In addition to cultivating the wild growth of yerba mate, engaging the local community, naturally processing yerba mate and educating about its health benefits, we also plan to support sustainable development programs in the Brazilian Rainforest.