We have the privilege of meeting and interviewing
Milton Kraus, the CEO of Kraus S.A. Kraus is a leading organic yerba mate company that is making waves around the world due to their fair-trade and environmentally friendly practices.
La Pachamama LTD had the honour of being the exclusive representatives of Kraus S.A. in New Zealand since 2007; it's one of our favorite yerba mates!
Photo: Milton Kraus drinking mate in his farm. ©Kraus S.A.
Who are part of Kraus S.A?
Kraus is a small family business, it is our essence and it is made up of my father, my mother and my brothers. We grow and produce certified organic and fair trade yerba mate and tea. We sell in Argentina and all over the world through a network of friendly distributors.
Photo: The Kraus family: Milton, Romina and Gino (the children) with his parents Yeya and Yiyo Kraus. © Kraus S.A.
How was the company formed?
I was born and raised in the company that at that time was more like a farm. The farm was dedicated to growing and drying tea and yerba mate to supply other national private label industries.
Do you grow and process your own yerba mate?
Yes, we currently grow, process, and distribute our tea and yerba mate in the country and throughout the world.
Photo credits: ©Kraus S.A.
Where are they located?
We are located in Santo Domingo Savio, San Ignacio, Misiones with plantations and dryers and in Garupá, Misiones with a mill, packing and shipping plant. We are part of Ruta de la Yerba Mate.
What are the goals of Kraus S.A.?
Our goal is to offer the world our organic & fair for climate products, healthy and produced with the least impact on the environment. We are the only yerba mate company that does not use trees or their derivatives for any part of the process. The organic production is governed by four ethical principles that guide and inspire action at all stages of production, processing, distribution and marketing: ecology, health, precautionary approach and equity. We follow these principles in all of our actions.
How did you come up with the idea of making organic yerba mate?
We wanted to make a difference being responsible with the environment and our customers. We are interested in sports, good nutrition and a responsible attitude towards people and the environment.
How has the company being growing?
The growth of the company was progressive in more than 60 years of efforts of 3 generations of the family. Today, Kraus organic is marketed in Argentina and more than 20 countries around the world, including New Zealand!
Photo: Milton Kraus with La Pachamama at the Auckland Food Show 2009.
The products that you currently have in stock include: Kraus organic, gourmet, pionero, with mint, yerba mate in bags, mate kits, mates, and bombillas. Are you planning to launch new products?
For now we have these varieties and accessories, we are working with clients helping them develop yerba mate drinks with our raw material. Several products are currently being marketed in the US and Europe.
What are the unique characteristics of yerba mate Kraus? how is yerba mate Kraus different from other brands?
Kraus organic yerba mate is the only unsmoked yerba mate because we use a system with steam and gas burners to dry the leaves. This makes our yerba mate smoke-free. In addition, our yerba mate is certified Organic, fair-trade and Kosher. It has a mild flavor and delicate aroma.
How many countries do you distribute your products?
More than 20 countries around the world, including New Zealand!
Can you tell us about your favorite way of preparing your mate and what is your favorite yerba mate?
I prepare the mate adding a bit of tap water to moist the yerba, then I add water at approx. 80 degrees centigrade. I try not to wet all the yerba and I serve the hot water where the straw is, leaving 50% unmoistened on one side. My favorite yerba is the Traditional Kraus with stick.
Can you leave us a message for Kraus customers in New Zealand?
I am very grateful to all the consumers for choosing us since they contribute to the families of workers of our firm in the small town of Santo Domingo Savio and thanks to their choice, this small community is maintained and has been progressing sucessfully. There are no other companies in the town, so Kraus S.A. plays a significant role.
We give back to our community, for example, by improving the playground and with the development of other local projects. Your choice helps our comminity! so thank you very much for your contribution!
Thank you Milton! We are so grateful to you and your family for your help and support throughout the years!