First of all, if your email program blocks images from being displayed, then you're going to want to disable that feature, because we have some pictures to share! For the past two months I have been waiting for our newest shipment of yerba mate. The barge shipped from Asuncion, Paraguay on 3/4/05. At that time, our shipping agent indicated that the container would arrive in Seattle on 4/12. After a few [typical] regulatory hurdles, the yerba finally arrived in our warehouse last Friday the 27th.
I am happy to report that the wait was worth it! Upon returning from Toronto last Sunday, I drove into town to my warehouse, opened the door, and was met by the aroma of the jungle 10,000 pounds of wild harvest yerba mate stacked in neat eight foot tall sacks! This is the nicest leaf of yerba mate I have ever seen. Of course, it contained no sticks and stems and hardly any noticeable powder.
Enlarged images of these pics can be found at http://www.yerba-mate.com/ourproducts.htm
Two days later, I received a call from the ranch. I learned some very important facts about our yerba mate. I had always been of the thought pattern that our operation would grow, and as our supply increased, we would invest in modern equipment used in yerba mate processing. The ranch told me this is not going to happen. One very important reason why our yerba mate is of the highest quality is the screening process. From start to finish, we hand screen our wild harvest yerba mate. The only way they can meet our high standards is for the yerba mate to be processed this way. Processing machines would simply break up the tender dry leaves even more and leave a high percentage of powder. What makes me even more content with this approach is that we are investing in people, not machines. Believe me when I say a job in the countryside of Paraguay is a valuable thing to have. I almost went down that slippery slope of thought that "machines will make things better". Nevertheless, I had a cup of mate and came to my senses....
Other good news from the ranch in Paraguay... Our Wild Harvest certification is moving along. This has been a long haul, but the fact is, there are not a lot of wild crafted products in the world. In some ways, we have to follow a stringent set of rules and regulations that are beyond "organic". The certifying agency does not want us to harm the jungle, and neither do we. The jungle is what sets our yerba mate apart from other yerba mate. We are doing some ground breaking work in this area. They have allowed us to clear 15 meters around every mother tree on the ranch in order to plant 6 seedling yerba mate trees. Additionally, we have designed educational material to educate the workers on the importance of sustainable practices in the wild. Equipment has to be cleaned before entering and again after exiting the jungle. A very big part of the certification is the tracking capabilities of each kilo of yerba from the time of harvest to the point of sale.
We are certainly very willing and eager to adhere to these standards. I am so proud of the job they are doing at the ranch. I would like to share this experience with you. For two weeks, starting now until June 20th, Aviva Wild Harvest Yerba Mate would like to offer you a free sample of our recently arrived shipment. This offer is for traditional loose yerba mate only. You'll be sent enough to brew from 16 to 24 cups, depending on your personal taste. This is a free sample! For those of you who are current customers, we thank you for your support. We invite you to visit our storefront to re-stock! For those of you who are not, give us a try! And for those of you who haven't broken into the yerba mate camp yet, then you don't know what you are missing!
Again, thank you all for your continued support. Don't forget, Fathers Day is the 19th... and for the dad that has everything, I bet he doesn't have yerba mate!
Take care and we'll see you in a couple weeks.
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