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February Greetings from the desk of Dan....

Dear Readers,

It's winter and what a great time for yerba mate. I just returned from the Sundance film festival and what a trip! I wish I could talk about all the wonderful movies I watched but yerba mate business was the reason for me attending. It gave us great exposure in many ways and the business contacts were great.

We had three locations at Sundance. Fred Segal salon, the Colombia house and the Seven Jeans house. We had a self-help station at Fred Segal salon and at the Seven Jeans house. At both of these locations we partnered up with New Chapter ginger based tonics. These tonics are a great addition to the yerba mate. Ginger is great for aiding digestion and the ginger spice is a nice sweetener for the mate. At the Colombia house, Silk matlattes were the rage. I have to tell you I have never been a big soymilk fan until I tried the Silk brand. I know now why they call it Silk. It is very smooth with a nice body and flavor.

In the month of February we will be adding a retail package for our matelatte. This is a very popular beverage with our wholesale coffee house customers. This wonderful product is a finely ground yerba mate designed specifically with espresso machines in mind. So, for all of those people who have espresso machines sitting under their counter, now you can make a fresh brewed Aviva matelatte with Silk as soy milk. When we launch the matelatte we will add some great recipe's to try at home. Along with that we will offer Mont Blanc gourmet white chocolate and a mix of Torani Syrups.

One highlight of Sundance was being able to share with people who were familiar with mate the quality of Aviva yerba mate. I take it for granted sometimes because this is what I do day in, day out. We had tremendous response from people on how smooth and flavorful our yerba was. Once I had a chance to describe the different types of yerba, it all made sense. 98% of all yerba is cultivated in Farms; they wipe down the jungle and plant nice neat rows. The good news is that chemicals are usually not used during the growing process. Secondly there is sustainable mate, unfortunately with this method they do have to clear most of the jungle, and they leave the canopy above and plant underneath. Last, and definitely not least, is Wild Harvest yerba mate. Aviva yerba mate is the only mate in this category that I know of. I have been there; I have seen it, twenty thousand acres of wild jungle. The message that most people understood is, not only is Aviva yerba mate naturally grown, we do not add any fillers like sticks and stems to our loose mate or tea bags, 99.9% dark leaf. Aviva yerba is thinner, more fragile than farm-grown mate. It has grown longer and has a more mature taste.

Our partner in Paraguay is now working with a professional forester, affiliated with the certifying agency. Because we want to harvest the wild yerba mate in an eco friendly manner we are taking extra steps to go beyond what the agency requires. This is why the Wild harvest certification is taking longer then we thought. Beyond what is taking place in the field, we are building a new waste water system for the workers and the main ranch. This improvement along with improvements to housing for the workers is being completed by our yerba mate purchases and your yerba mate purchases from us.

Another highlight of the festival was meeting Sonya Kugler of the Center for Organic Education and Promotion. She represented the center at both the 7 jeans house and a fundraiser hosted by ICM, one of the largest talent agencies in the world. The organic center's guiding principles are:

  • Action must be taken to protect human health and natural world from unsustainable practices and the widespread use and abuse of toxic substances.
  • Vital links between diet, health agriculture and the environment are becoming increasingly well known.
  • Choices citizens make every day determine how the earth is used.
  • Organic agriculture is a proven method for producing food and other products that sustain both the environment and human health.
  • Citizens need credible, peer- reviewed scientific evidence on how organic products and systems benefit human health and the environment for the organic movement to achieve its mission.
  • Consumers, educational and environmental bodies, government, and each part of the organic chain of custody-from "seed to table"-play key roles in the organic movement's success.
As you can see this is a worthwhile venture and I urge all of you to check the web site out at

They are in the process of raising money and I urge all of you to give what you can.

It was nice getting away but it is much nicer coming home. Looks like quite a bit of traveling ahead for Aviva, In February and March... February I will be traveling to Paraguay to the Ranch. I will be able to see the progress of the Wild Harvest work and meet with the professional forester. We are also attending a Food show in Spokane, WA. At this show we will be launching our brand of cooking mate. I am real excited about this. Brendan Brazier of and I have been working on this for over a year now. Actually, Brendan is the only vegetarian professional tri athlete on the professional circuit. In May he won the Canadian Ultra Marathon in record time. Because he is a vegetarian and competes at the level he does, Brendan is at the forefront of nutrition. He uses Aviva yerba mate in his everyday routine and he believes it gives him an edge over the competition. He is in the process of writing a vegetarian cookbook and is lending his expertise to this venture. In March, we will be attending the Natural foods expo in Anaheim, CA and at the "Take me to Tea" expo in Las Vegas.

There is plenty more to talk about, but I will save that for next month. In the mean time, keep the pot hot and the yerba mate steady. Look for our February special in your inbox this weekend!


Dan Garcia
Founder, Aviva Ltd.

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