When the agricultural engineer Alfonso Scherer travelled to Argentina in 1926, all he really wanted to do was cultivate the Mate plant. In the process, he laid the foundation for an entire city.
To whoever drinks PUERTO MATE® today, it's great to know that every sip of our Mate is accompanied by a little taste of adventure. Because PUERTO MATE® has to offer what others can only dream of: A real story! And it doesn't begin in Argentina, but in Zurich - with a professor named Andreas Sprecher von Bernegg. The author and specialist in tropical and subtropical world crops received the lectureship for tropical agriculture at the agricultural department of the ETH Zurich in 1923. His enthusiasm for agricultural plants and Mate tea in particular was also transferred to his students, among whom was a certain Alfonso Scherer. Over a round of Mate tea, the professor raised the idea of growing the plant himself in South America.
Real founding fathers
In 1926, Alfonso Scherer, by now an agricultural engineer, joined other Swiss in the venture of a company that had acquired large amounts of land in South America and was now looking for people to farm it. On 25 September, they landed in the Argentinean province of Misiones and, together with Paraguayan farm workers, founded the settlement of Puerto Esperanza in the middle of the jungle. On the farm of Alfonso Scherer - which is still family owned and produces our Mate they began to put their goal into practice: The cultivation of the Mate plant.