- giving jobs to trees
At IKÓ, we find jobs for trees.
It's how you make a positive impact with every sip you take.
We grow Maté plants to make IKÓ. And Maté plants grow best in the shade of the rainforest. Trees do the job of providing that shade. When we give trees that job on our plantation, it's called agroforestry. The trees' job is to give shade and shared nutrients to the Maté plants to help them grow.
In short, we grow trees to grow Maté, and we grow Maté to grow trees. That's the positive feedback loop that drives IKÓ.
Agroforestry, ecological grazing, biological inputs in cropping, permaculture, biodynamics – all these methods regenerate the way that the land naturally works. It’s been estimated that we can actually draw-down more than 100% of current emissions into the atmosphere through these processes. Processes provided by nature. It’s time we talked about farming.
IKÓ’s here to regenerate people and planet. All our sales go to feed one very powerful process: regenerative farming.
Regenerative agriculture describes farming methods that don’t just hold-off, but actually reverse climate change. Farmers harness natural processes to bring parched and dead soils back to life. This diversity feeds microbial organisms in the soil. These little microbes are passed carbon from the air through the roots of the plants in the system. Then, they hold onto it for us.
The soil improves each year
Agroforestry builds healthy soil by restoring organic matter - the natural living biodiversity - in the soil. This improves the ground's ability to draw down carbon from the air and store it underground, hold clean water, and produce nutrient-dense food.
No fertilizers are needed
Using regenerative methods, farmers become less reliant on oil, chemicals and artificial fertilizers, which helps reduce production costs and is proven to be profitable.
The natural food chain recovers and no pesticides are needed
Reducing and eliminating the use of pesticides in agroforestry restores the natural balance of the biosphere. This means increased insects populations are controlled by birds, and from there a domino effect restores the natural food chain and habitats of local wildlife.
And better soil means better crops
Recent research has shown that regeneratively farmed foods contain a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. In particular, regenerative foods appear to have more nutrients that reduce inflammation and boost human health.
Regenerative agriculture harnesses Nature’s intrinsic, automatic, positive feedback loop.
And what’s the alternative?
Industrial scale farming, desiccating soils. With each new monocrop, the soil is drained of nutrients and microbiology. Monocultures halt the natural cycle of water and minerals. Fertilizers inject artificial nutrients into the soil. Pesticides ward off swarms of insects that go unchecked by a biodiverse food chain that’s no longer able to exist. Organic matter in the soil dies. More carbon stays in the atmosphere. The degenerative cycle continues.And the climate impact? Industrial farming methods produce an estimated 33% of all greenhouse gases. And it’s small farmers, not the industrial farms, that bear the brunt of climate change.Dramatic changes to weather cycles mean that every year small farmers suffer new climate disasters. Draughts, floods, desertification, extreme weather events – they’re happening everywhere, year-in, year-out.
By using regenerative agricultural practices, rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity, farmers see a marked increase in the resilience of their land and the security of their income.If we want to harness the power of regenerative agriculture, we need to employ and empower small farmers, and the forest, to drive the regenerative agricultural model. We need to give jobs to nature, trees, and those that farm amongst them.
That’s why IKÓ uses Maté sourced from independent and cooperative producers via certified Fair For Life suppliers. And we make sure IKÓ Maté comes from agroforestry farms that benefit the producer, their land and you when you drink it.
Join the Maté Movement today. Give a tree a job. Let nature heal herself.