Although Meta Mate specialises in hand made mate coming from biodiverse forests, we do see the value of working hand and hand with the industry and value all technological innovations that add to the variety of mate production.

understand mate, this product perhaps lies on the other end of the spectrum when compared to the Moonshine Meta Mates. The latter is collected only seasonally in small quantities under the full moon from a biodiverse forest. The Cambona 4, on the other hand is collected throughout the year from plantatons consisting of a single species of mate and processed together in a factory in Machadinho (where the 23 is also milled and packed). 

The town of Machadinho was founded in the 1950’s in the northern part of Rio Grande do Sul. Milk production and Soya are the two biggest industries with Mate production being the third. In the 1980’s Professor EvandroBarreto de Melowho spent a lot of time researching various cross-breeds of mate came up with the Cambona 4.


A mate that was mild in flavor (thus making it palatable for the masses without the addition of sugar), and more importantly for the farmers the plant was resistant and grew rapidly, thus increasing productivity in the region.

While many producers applaud the discovery of the Cambona 4 as a revolution in the Mate growing world, there are critics as well who warn of the threat of biodiversity for Mate if Cambona is taken to other producing regions as it’s rapid growth allows it to spread faster than other native trees. 

In the 1990’s the production of the Cambona was regulated by a local Cooperative which went bankrupt and the Cambona proejct nearly died with this until Barao de Cotegipe stepped in 2012 and took over. Today 30% of the population is employed by Barao Erva Mate Ltda and the Cambona project is flourishing under a company that has its priority in Mate. 

Around 15000kg of Cambona leaves are collected and processed through the factory per day which yields about 5000kg of dry Mate. On average the collection takes place 5 days a week from early morning until midday. In the summer, more leaves are collected as the sun rises earlier. Neigboring families work together rotating the collection from each others plantation. 

It is easiy to see the prosperity in the region due to the Cambona, with signs in front of every family property documenting the amount of Arrobas (15 kilos of fresh leeaves) annually and the price paid for these leaves. 

Ther eare about 480 families who are registered in the Cambona Cooperative as growers and they profit from having a secure income. Barao guarentees to purchase all leaves that are collected.

Sr. Nego who has produced mate all his life (his grandfather used to make traditional Carijo Mate and then he joined the Cooperative), oversees the productions in Machadinho. He is proud to see his region prosper with the innovation of the Cambona. 

Meeting of Mates 1

Looking at the calendar to plan the new harvest of 23 Mate

As we sat around a wooden stove where a delicious dinner was slowly cooking, Sergio Picolo shared a story that will one day go down as a piece of Mate history. In 2011 on a weekend when the phone rang. The person on the line introduced himself and said that he was traveling through the region and would like to stop by to visit the factory. Sergio politely explained that the factory was closed over the weekend and hung up. A few minutes later the phone rang again, it was the same insistent person on the phone wondering if Sergio would be available for a meeting. Sergio once again reiterated that it was the weekend and the factory was closed, and he was not available for a meeting. When the phone rang a third time, and this ‚Fabricio‘ said that he would like to have a recommendation as to where he could eat lunch in the area, Sergio got curious and directed him to a restaurant close by and resolved to find out who this person was.

Everything in Cotegipe revolves around Mate

There had been a delivery of mate leaves from the forests in the neighboring state the night before, Sergio selected a big Mate leaf and took it with him to the restaurant where he encountered Fabricio who had an even larger mate leaf from Ricardo’s forests. And thus was born a lifelong friendship that founded the partnership between Meta Mate and Barâo.

Without the generosity and support from Barâo, Meta Mate would not be where it is today. From the very beginning Sergio and his team have always been willing to make an exception, stop their factory production to help us by vacuum packing and palleting our hand made mates so that they could be exported to Berlin. When we wanted to experiment with different drying techniques for university tests, Barâo offered us their facilities.

Our Partners who were the first to believe in us.

These priceless acts of trust are the stories that remain untold to the consumer in Germany or the USA who enjoy their Meta Mate 23. For when it came time to bring out a non-smoked, leafy, organic certified, fresh vacuum packed mate to penetrate the non-mate drinking market, it was Barâo whom we turned to for their expertise