Just to make sure no one confuses some green tea hipster leaves at their local bougie cold-press brewery with Argentina’s authentic Ilex paraguariensis, the Agriculture Ministry yesterday published Resolution 13/2016 to officially trademark the name “Yerba Mate Argentina” to yerba mate cultivated in the provinces of Corrientes and Misiones.
“The seal guarantees links to geographical origin and enables consumers access to better information when differentiating between product quality,” said Néstor Roulet, the Agriculture Ministry’s secretary of value addition. *Sips mate*
This comes as a result of a local movement started years ago by producers of the herbs in Posadas, Misiones, who drafted a 69-page guide to protect the sacred name. That’s right, we’re taking back the yerba, and there’s nothing you can do to… sterrrrp us.
This effort isn’t the first of its kind in Argentina, nor in the world — the most famous being the champagne trademark stating that sparkling wine cannot be legally labeled “champagne” unless it comes from the province of Champagne in France.
Mate is the most consumed drink by Argentines, who annually drink 100 liters per capita. The President of the National Institute of Yerba Mate, Luis Pietro, stated, “we’re looking for new markets…[Yerba Mate] has its own particularity and we want it noted in the international market.” As it stands, the tea’s consumption remains largely confined to South America, but export numbers reach 37 million kilos per year. The exception is Syria, where 24,790,000 kilos are exported annually, a result of various waves in history of Arabs immigrating and emigrating out of Argentina, one being during World War II when Syria and Lebanon were still French colonies.
- Read more: Errbody In The Club Drinking Yerba Mate
Argentina is not alone in its 290 million kilo harvest, but it is the largest producer. Brazil and Paraguay are also mate cultivators, with Brazil having 85,000 acres of cultivated land, and Paraguay 35,000.
The leaves of yerba mate contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, endless antioxidants and lots of caffeine. So if you’re sick of hyper-sweetened coffee and don’t live with an Adderall sparring college roommate anymore, Yerba Mate (Argentine Region) might be the liquid crack you’ve been looking for.