Guayaki Honored With 2004 Socially Responsible Business Award

San Luis Obispo, California – Thousands of natural product companies flocked to Washington D.C. last week for a celebration of healthy and responsible capitalism. Among the throng of aspiring socially responsible companies at the Natural Products Expo East trade show, Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products stood out as a leader and was honored with a Socially Responsible Business Award.

It was clear that the positive energy and delicious drinks eminating from the California company's "tropical cafe" exhibit booth was appreciated by show attendees and peers as well. The pulsating beat of traditional and contemporary South American music was a pleasant backdrop to the Guayaki team serving a steady stream of "maté latté's" and Java Maté lattés to the energy-starved crowd.

“We started this company in 1997 with a dream to help protect rainforests and help people lead a healthier lifestyle,” says David Karr, co-founder of Guayakí. “Its tremendously fulfilling for our team to know that practicing socially responsible business practices can be successful and fun, and that others in the industry respect what we do,” adds Karr.

Natural Products Expo East is the biggest event in the thriving $42 billion industry. This was the 10th annual presentation of the awards. Guayakí is a two-time winner, having been bestowed an award previously in 2001.

Nominees were ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 in each of nine categories derived from the Social Venture Network’s Standards of Corporate Responsibility. These include Ethics, Accountability, Governance, Financial Returns, Employment Practices, Business Relationships, Products and Services, Community Involvement, and Environmental Protection. The awards are presented to companies or individuals who have demonstrated excellence in integrating and promoting these values in the workplace. For more information about the socially responsible business awards, please contact event coordinator Siri Khalsa at 310-552-7923.

Guayakí is the market leader in the yerba maté category with 65% of the market share. Yerba Maté has grown to encompass approximately 5% of the overall natural tea market. This coffee alternative offers an incredible list of health benefits due to its 196 active compounds, including 24 vitamins and minerals, and 15 amino acids. Yerba maté also provides a unique sustaining energy due to its complex combination of xanthine alkaloids, caffeine, theophylline and theobromine.

The organic cultivation of Guayakí’s yerba maté takes place on the 20,000-acre Guayakí Rainforest Preserve. Guayakí’s Market-Driven Conservation business approach generates Fair Trade income for the 34 indigenous families living there and creates revenue for the Preserve - a safe haven for more than 330 bird and mammal species. Guayakí uses a triple “bottom line” to measure success: Economic Viability, Social Justice, and Environmental Stewardship. Their goal is to create economic models that drive reforestation while providing a living wage.

Humidity, cool temperatures and rich organic soil in the rainforest encourage yerba maté trees to grow slowly, the way nature intended. Guayakí’s maté is grown in this natural rainforest where shade from the upper canopy of towering hardwood trees above protects the leaves from direct sunlight, which can cause bitterness. Guayakí workers handpick only the most tender maté leaves and stems, which are flash-heated to protect the nutritional properties. The maté is wood-dried by artisans using naturally-fallen rainforest hardwoods and then aged for 12 months in cedar wood chambers. This time-honored process creates Guayakí’s distinct “woodsy” aroma and full-bodied flavor.

To learn more about Guayakí, please visit or call 1-888-GUAYAKI (482-9254). Guayakí yerba maté products can be purchased at thousands of natural food stores, cafes and supermarkets throughout North America or though their secure website Guayakí offers 100% organic yerba maté in traditional and maté blends, including: 7 varieties of Tea Bags (Traditional, Magical Mint, Chai Spice, Maté Chocolatté, Greener Green Tea, Orange Blossom, and Maté Rooiboost!); Loose Tea; Java Maté; Bulk Loose Yerba Maté; Maté Chai Latté Concentrate; and Bulk Yerba Maté Tea Bags.

Contact: Michael LeBel, 207-563-7695, [email protected]

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