Wow, what a response! We have now finished our free sample campaign for the month. For those of you wondering when you can expect to indulge in a refreshing cup of wild harvest yerba, the samples you signed up for will be going out early next week. We had a fantastic response with 17% of respondents claiming they are not currently yerba mate drinkers. We also found 93% of the respondents were more interested in the quality and taste of yerba than its price. A mere 7% said price is the determining factor when purchasing yerba. Thank you all for the wonderful feedback. It is very important to hear from you.
News from South America is that the drought in the mate producing regions has caused concern for the farmers. The lack of rain has damaged some of the plantation trees, indicating a potential shortage and subsequent rise in yerba mate prices for 2006. It takes about three years for a plantation yerba mate tree to produce once it is planted. It takes about five years to fully produce. Because of the growing demand for yerba here in the U.S. and around the world, it will be interesting to see how events unfold on both the supply and demand side of things. For the past 3-4yrs, South America has experienced a glut of yerba mate. In fact, some governments started encouraging farmers to switch their fields to soy because the local markets were saturated with yerba, and a strong export structure to the US and other parts of the world was not in place. Unfortunately, its probable that some of the yerba being sold in the US right now may have been sitting in warehouses for a couple years. Of course, these producers will conveniently try to put a positive spin on the situation by saying their product has been "aged" ;-)
Due to the growing environment of our yerba, drought conditions typically have a lesser impact on our crop yields. The natural foliage of the jungle floor and canopy seem to provide our plants with their own eco system. This eco system captures condensation and keeps cool moist air close to the plants instead of evaporating into the sky above. Because of this and other advantages, we forecast no shortages of yerba for our customers. In fact, we do a pretty good job of forecasting demand growth and tuning our production schedules accordingly so that you are sold a fresh product (you'll notice our yerba tends to be a little greener than others that's a good thing!).
Now that summer has hit in most of the country, we are adding two new blends starting July 1. These are both blends that have dried fruits, spices and natural flavorings. Apricot Spice and Orange spice will be on our website. Our July special may incorporate these new offerings. Take care and keep that mate flowing. Our storefront is a great place to start!
Founder, Aviva Ltd.
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