Guayaki: The Health Drink that is Good for You and the Planet

In the 21st century more and more businesses are looking to bridge the gap between economics and nature. Here’s how one of these companies – health drink brand Guayaki – is trying to help the planet as well as your body.

Regenerative Business

The worlds of business and nature have for so long been separated, treated as two far reaching corners with no common ground – and maybe this is the cause of the great environmental devastation we see today. But a new generation of businesses is looking at the old model and saying “No! This will not do!”

The new process is all about regeneration. In regenerative businesses, profits are critical but not something extracted to boost personal wealth. Instead, profits are a vital source of fuel to sustain business and help other sectors of society, such as the environment and social welfare.  In a movement where regeneration meets economics, companies are realising that they can create wealth, protect the environment and act sustainably. All at the same time. One of these companies is health drink brand Guayaki.

“We aim to restore 200,000 acres of Atlantic Rainforest, create 1000 wage jobs by 2020 and build a business that inspires local communities to be stewards of their land”

Guayaki Yerba Mate health drink.

What is Guayaki?

Founded in Southern California 1996 by two university buddies Alex Pryor and David Karr, Guayaki is a tea-blend business with an affinity for the natural environment. Their enterprise is based around Yerba Mate, a highly nutritious plant indigenous to South America, and claims to have ‘the strength of coffee, health benefits of tea and euphoria of chocolate’ among other wellness benefits.


Alex Pryor & David Karr


What is so special to us about Guayaki, however, is not their flavoursome drink but their business model of ‘market-driven restoration’. Yerba Mate is cultivated under rainforest trees, and Guayaki have become intimately involved with partnering farmers to allow growth in a design that preserves the forest. It is a two-way advantageous process – farmers receive a better quality of life and reliable income stream from the tea, and Guayaki gains technical advice on nursery creation and the organic growth process from those who know it best.

That’s not all. Guayaki pays a price premium to grower partners to directly incentivize them to sustain existing forests, regenerate them and increase biodiversity that complements the Yerba growth. Furthermore, the entire business is run on green, sustainable energy and resources, with recycled packaging and solar powered headquarters.


Guayakis’ Success in Sustainability

✔ Packaging 100% recycled corrugated cardboard

✔ Uses 100% renewable energy via solar

✔ Offsets 55 tonnes of corporate carbon footprint

✔ 60% of transportation fleet uses alternative fuels

✔ Certified ‘Fair for Life’

✔ 35% annual job growth.


It is clear to see why the company recently received a $1.5 million investment from RSF Social Finance. They are an exciting example of how sustainable business practice can benefit the producer, consumer and planet – let’s hope they inspire even more regenerative businesses to emerge.


Knowledge and understanding is at the heart of saving our natural world. Together we can achieve universal environmental education in Indonesia. It can be as simple as purchasing a book ,sponsoring an Eco-Education Centre or making a donation.  To learn more about how you can help us achieve our goals and protect the environment, click here.