Dealflow | October 17, 2018

Loan to Guayaki aims to support jobs and preserve rainforest in Brazil

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, October 17 – California-based beverage company Guayaki specializes in products made from organically grown yerba mate, a caffeinated plant grown in the South American rainforest. RSF Social Finance and Beneficial Returns are backing the company with an $800,000 loan to support the development of Guayaki’s first factory in Brazil.

Last year, more than 550,000 tons of yerba matte was harvested, mostly from plantations. Guayaki sources its yerba matte from cooperatives in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina that harvest from the rainforest itself. This growing practice relies on the forest’s shade cover; buying from these suppliers therefore incentivizes rainforest protection.

Guayaki has helped preserve and restore 130,000 acres of the Atlantic rainforest, and aims to restore 200,000 acres and create over 1,000 living-wage jobs by 2020.

Beneficial Returns has provided $500,000 for the first tranche of Guayaki’s facilities loan. It is Beneficial Returns’ fifth loan and follows its recent investment in Guatemalan ceramic water filter company EcoFiltro.

RSF will provide $300,000 for the second tranche of of Guayaki’s loan later this year.