Welcome to the yerba mate news roundup, a new monthly feature on the Urushop blog. Here you will find a summary of the most important international yerba mate news from the past month.
Mate health benefits discussed at conference
A recent conference at the University of Cordoba in Argentina has considered the latest research into the impact of yerba mate on human health. Mate has now been shown to have an even higher concentration of polyphenols than tea. It is suggested that Polyphenols give a powerful boost to the immune system and provide excellent protection against cell damage. Yerba mate also contains eight of the thirteen B vitamins, as well as magnesium and potassium, the latter being essential for the proper functioning of the heart.
Addressing the ongoing debate over yerba mate and cancer, the Unciencia noted that problems arose with the extremely hot temperatures at which the drink is sometimes consumed, rather than being an issue with the yerba itself. Keep that water cool folks!
Mate teabags growing fast
A study undertaken by Inemo Research has shown the consumption of yerba mate teabags to have grown almost 50% in Argentine homes in recent years. Despite a 200g packet of teabags costing almost as much as a 1kg bag of loose yerba, 6 out of 10 households in Argentina are now said to regularly consume them.
An end to child labour?
Over 62,000 people in Argentina have now signed a petition on the change.org website calling for an end to the “scourge of child labour” in the yerba mate industry. Campaigners are first seeking to establish a recognised certification which will be added to packaging, meaning consumers can more easily select child labour free products.
New attempts to preserve the home of yerba mate
A campaign is underway to curb the progress of deforestation in the ancient Atlantic Forest of Alta Parana in eastern Paraguay. The forest is believed to be one of the original indigenous growing areas of both yerba mate and stevia. Once covering over a million square km across Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, in recent decades it has been severely threatened by the growth of agriculture. Only 10% of the original forest in Paraguay now remains.
Working capital grants for Argentine yerba farmers
In order to support the development of regional economies across Argentina, the Ministry of Agricultural Industry has announced that it will make grants of up to $2.5million available to yerba mate farmers via the National Bank.
It has been revealed that 200kg of yerba mate travelled to Brazil along with the Argentine Olympic team. The yerba was provided by Argentine firm Taragüi, along with specially designed Olympic kits for the athletes. Mariano Berlin, Product Manager at Taragüi said, “Mate is an excellent ally of Argentine athletes who represent us in the world. What better way to encourage our athletes by presenting them a customized kit so they can enjoy our national infusion in Brazil?
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