SEBASTOPOL, California – Let’s begin with a hypothetical scenario, one that may hold value in its analogy as it is also realistically on the table. Here is an excerpt from an article written by Bill McKibben for the Huffington post:
“Say that President Obama was being asked to sign a certificate allowing a pipeline to carry an endless stream of logs from the Amazon. That, too, would create jobs — but he wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t do it because the world understands how crucial the rain forest is to its future.”
The context in which this is written is meant to be compared to the ghastly and horrific project titled the Keystone XL pipeline. McKibben is verbalizing various basic principles in this statement. One being that the rain forest is now known to be crucial to the health of the planet and it’s inhabitants, which highlights the principle of knowledge and understanding.
The second is veiled slightly but can be seen clearly. Obama will not take the same draconian approach to commodifying the Amazon rain forest because the world ‘understands,’ at least at a sufficient level, their relationship to the rain forest.
Guayaki Brand Yerba Mate is a certified B corporation that imports fair trade, organic and sustainable Yerba mate and sells various forms of it on the beverage market. They are not unique in this regard; this plant, which is brewed like tea, has similar effects as coffee and is coupled with high nutrient value, making it highly sought after.
Rapidly scaled as an industry, health nuts are catching on to the wonders of a plant that has been a staple in South America for centuries.
What is unique about Guayaki is their choice to employ ethical and moral practices in every facet of their business model. From sustainable packaging and energy supply to fair trade policies and fair employment practices, both are categories where the company goes above and beyond even the requirements for some of the strictest certifications of good practice.
The link between Mr. McKibben’s statement and a Yerba Mate Company, headquartered in Sebastapool, California, is the moral free will the company has displayed in seeking solutions to our planet’s problems- even in the face of an uneven playing field, and overwhelming problems to address.
During an interview with one of the founders, David Karr, I asked him why, and how it was, that Guayaki could employ presumably less efficient practices for their bottom line, whilst even more impressively continually self-examining their organization and looking to improve it ethically.
Karr states,”Really it comes down to our values and principles… we at Guayaki feel strongly that ethical behavior is far more important than profit.” Furthermore, through the interview he insinuated that it was far more rewarding as well.
Though it was difficult not to be overly impressed by Karr’s demeanor over the phone, what was more impressive was how his personal values were so in sync with the manifestations of the company he was heading. Having visited their offices, I can personally vouch for the overall positive vibe and attitude of employees at Guayaki.
– Tyler Shafsky