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Montevideo, April 17th 2024 - 12:34 UTC



Yerba mate producers from Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil join forces

Wednesday, March 20th 2024 - 10:46 UTC
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The decision was announced Tuesday in Buenos Aires at the Argentine Yerba Mate Institute HQs The decision was announced Tuesday in Buenos Aires at the Argentine Yerba Mate Institute HQs

Growers from Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay Tuesday launched the South American Federation of Yerba Mate Producers “to protect and promote” their activity and work toward its “worldwide dissemination,” it was announced in Buenos Aires. The founders of the new guild highlighted mate's value as a natural and healthy food in the global market.

 Also Tuesday it was agreed that Argentina would hold the first three years of the group's rotating presidency, with Nelson Dalcolmo of the National Institute of Yerba Mate (INYM) at the entity's helm.

“Each of these three countries has a particular emblematic product made from yerba mate; for Brazilians, it is chimarrão; in Paraguay, they have tereré and we Argentines have mate,” explained INYM board member Claudio Marcelo Hacklander in a radio interview.

Representing the INYM at Tuesday's convention were Dalcolmo, Hacklander, and Jonas Petterson. The Brazilian Institute of Erva Mate (IBRAMATE) sent Alberto Tomelero, Cleomar Henrique Konzen, and Ismael Rosset, and attending on behalf of the Paraguayan Yerba Mate Center were Eduardo Oswald, Naida Alderete, Héctor Sauer, and legal counselor Alejandro Úbeda.

“The first presidency was in charge of the Argentinean representation. But it will be itinerant, and the president will change every three years. With permanent headquarters in Paraguay, in the Paraguayan yerba mate center, and then sub-headquarters in Argentina and Brazil,” he added.

“The main agenda is to work on achieving product innovation and worldwide promotion of yerba mate to be able to enter new markets and leave aside a little bit of that selfishness and competition that we always think that where we enter, the Paraguayans or Brazilians enter and take the market away from us. It is not like that, we can work together and leave aside that particular selfishness. We want the world to know the virtues of yerba mate and we can cover more spaces that today are not precisely within the yerba mate business,” he also pointed out.

“Our Federation comes to highlight a legacy shared by the three countries: that of being the only producers of yerba mate in the world, with more than 500 years of history, culture, and roots in our communities, energizing the entire region,” Dalcolmo noted.

“We are brothers, we share not only mate, chimarrão, and tereré but also the history of this region. We have an enormous potential to expand the frontiers of our product in a world that seeks healthy and natural foods like ours,” he went on.

“It is a historic day for us,” the Brazilian Tomelero admitted. “We have managed to unite the three yerba mate-producing countries and now we will work on the development and growth of the activity. We will start by focusing on producers, many of whom are family farmers, and we will look for development alternatives. Our goal is to spread the health benefits of our yerba mate, attract new consumers, and achieve a balance of profitability for all those involved in the yerba mate chain,” he also noted.

Meanwhile, Paraguay's Oswald pointed out that “we have fulfilled a dream; we have been working for more than a year to achieve this, and today we are concluding the organizational part, with statute and board of directors. We will define the joint work according to the priorities of each country.”

“The desire is integration; we talk a lot and sometimes we do not get out of those words, and today we are moving forward. This is important taking into account how the world is shaping up, with globalization, and we, together, the three countries, decided to join efforts so that our product continues to gain market share,” added the Paraguayan representative, whose country will host the new entity's headquarters.

Tags: Yerba mate.

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