Guayakí Yerba Mate’s primary impact objective around People is to support employee well-being and to make Guayakí an engaging, diverse, and inclusive place to work. We manage justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, fair living wages, and governance practices through company policies and procedures under our Social Purpose Corporation charter.
In 2022, Guayakí Yerba Mate focused to make our integrated company more engaging, diverse, and inclusive for our workers in both North and South America. We focused on employee engagement by rolling out an engagement survey and action planning process. We focused on employee development by implementing performance development through goal setting, feedback, and assessments. Enhancing manager capabilities through key training. Implemented better on-boarding practices by developing a new on-boarding program called Guayakí University that included exposure to company culture, history, and each business function responsibilities.
As part of the annual Fair for Life audits for Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products, Inc., we conducted an analysis in 2022 to confirm that all full-time employees were provided a fair living wage as defined by local third-party standards. We have set goals to conduct this analysis again in 2023, and annually to reflect the changing economy as well as to expand the scope of our analysis to include The Yerba Mate Co. operations, with the aim of all employees under Guayakí SPC confirmed to be receiving a fair living wage.
For more information about how fair trade premiums and funds are used for local community projects in South America, please see the “Community” section of the Impact Report.
In 2022, we kicked off our first Guayakí University (“Guayakí U” for short) as a part of the employee new hire onboarding program. We value our unique and inclusive culture and want to make sure that as we grow and evolve, we retain this fundamental part of who we are. By bringing together and immersing 30 new team members from 8 different departments all over the US at our Sebastopol, California office, we offered the opportunity to learn the tradition and community of the yerba mate gourd circle, spend time with our founders and leadership team members, learn how our products are created from seed to shelf, give back to the community by volunteering at a local nonprofit, Bayer Farm, and spend time being creative, having fun, and bonding as a team to immerse in our brand mantra of connecting with others to “Come to Life.” This program will continue several times a year and evolve based on learnings and feedback, but we are proud of the positive outcomes we have seen so far.
Guayakí Brazil hosted its first Semana Saúde À Vida (Come To Life Week), which merged a wide array of workshops for our employees in Turvo, from workplace safety practices, quality, sustainability and regeneration to domestic finances, personal development, mental health and more, provided by local leaders and invited speakers. In addition, team members participated in an 8-week personal communications course, aimed at improving individual and collective skills for clear, objective, and respectful communication.
In 2022, we formally established an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee following the action plan that was developed in 2021. Our three-year commitment as a “JEDI Steward” with the One Step Closer JEDI Collaborative to support JEDI programming since 2021 continued. In 2023, we are working with a JEDI Collaborative solutions partner, Shine Diversity, to host live, virtual JEDI 101 training. We will also be launching an eLearning platform to reach employees who are not able to attend live sessions and will launch the next level of JEDI trainings later in 2023.
Led by a subject-matter-expert organization (Encontrarse en la Diversidad) our local teams in Argentina continued their diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops aimed to create awareness and deep conversations on these topics. They also conducted a diversity assessment to develop diversity metrics more reflective of the local context in South America.
As part of the education program that was designed for the harvest team, a diversity training was held by the Secretaría de la Mujer (Women and Gender Department) in Andresito, Argentina. This is an important step in strengthening community inclusion. We’ve created an alliance with Secretaría de la Mujer in order to build a broader strategy to address this topic and create space for dialogue in the community.