So, what is El Mate? El Mate is a family business that produces cow, sheep and chicken meat, and eggs through holistic resource management. Our mission is to provide healthy food
from a sustainable environment to generate a social, economic,
and environmental impact. –A purpose driven business
That’s why in addition to producing our mission is to share this message
and get more people involved through teaching workshops and speaking at conferences. Bruno’s ranch works like this: cows are followed by hens He also has sheep, chickens,
and produces honey. Each element of the system, improves
the efficiency of the rest. It also helps the economy of the farm because his business doesn’t rely on the market price of a single product We started because he had to With the industrial system, we realized
we were going broke. That was our motivation to say either we change or we go broke. Now I’m going to introduce you to Federico, who was the catalyst of change and also my father. Hi Federico, how are you? –Thank you for having me!
Please, it’s a pleasure to have you. What does this paradigm shift mean to you? Well, besides a paradigm shift, this means a life change too. It means starting over as a producer in a world that is totally different from what we’ve been doing our whole lives. This has brought us a lot of satisfaction and also has given us the opportunity to reinsert our kids and the following generations into the agricultural space. The cows are one of the key components
of your business model. Yes, they’re the key and one of the
main sources of revenue. We just opened the door for them.
Why do you move them? The reason why we move them is because this system is about imitating how
herbivores graze in nature. Big herds of herbivores in nature graze in big, tight groups for a very short time before moving to a new place. They did this due to predators. In the present day, there are no predators so we imitate that same movement with electric wire, creating tight groups
that we move daily. This rain makes me think…
how’s the absorption of your soil? The absorption is better, because every time the animal consumes the grass, 70 to 80 percent of the roots die and all that carbon stays in the soil. Grasslands are some of the biggest
carbon pools in the world, and the more carbon in the soil,
the more water it retains. Can this mode of production be a possible solution to global warming? It’s one of the only solutions to fix the excess carbon in our atmosphere. If you take a look at many of the solutions today, they focus on “reducing” our emissions, but very few consider how to capture the excess carbon in our atmosphere. The answer is right here, in planned grazing with cattle and other ruminants. The carbon cycle works like this: plants, using the sun’s energy and water, perform “photosynthesis” They absorb carbon from the air and turn it into carbohydrates, sugars. Then, they pump part of those sugars to feed the microbes that build soil. Without this cycle, we wouldn’t
have agriculture. We move the chicken coop every 5 to 7 days to a new place. Each time the chickens look,
dig and graze in one place then when the forage is done,
we close the coop at night and move the chickens to a
new place in the morning. In doing so you are servicing the soil? An extremely important ecosystem service, because the chickens dig with their claws and generate a strategic disturbance that incites various different native plants to germinate in addition to aerating the soil and
bettering the infiltration rate. A perfect virtuous cycle. It’s a virtuous cycle in which each
part generates synergy. Is this system more profitable? Indeed. Compared to the system
where chickens are in cages, it reduces the cost of animal feed
by 40-50 percent. because the chicken not only eats
that but is also grazing and looking for insects to
complement their natural diet. So… healthy soil, healthy plants, happy chickens, and how is the product? The product is of high biological quality. Those consuming this product will
not only be consuming an egg of high organoleptic quality, but also the nutrients within the soil and the plants are transferred into the product. We’re going to open the nests where they’re laying, and here is the final product. What else differentiates this product from
one made within the traditional system? Not only does it have a more balanced
content of fatty acids and vitamins, but it is also in high demand by restaurants, bakeries, and pastry shops. Why? Because it’s very dense. Notice how thick it is and look at the color of the yolk. When you touch it, it doesn’t break.
–The color is incredible! What I always share with my customers is how when a person is sick, they get pale With eggs it’s the same. An egg produced in a cage is very pale
because it’s not healthy. This egg is dense and very yellow,
because it’s very healthy. Within the same plane where
we develop all the rest of the activities, we also have bees, for honey production. The bee not only gives us a valuable product, it also has a very important
function in the ecosystem. How is the performance on this hives? The performance is great. It is up to
2 to 3 times higher than hives in conventional systems, because
we don’t apply insecticides which is what kills them very easily. Here they can eat and do their work at ease without being affected by chemicals. So you could say you’re also offering a pollinating service to the area. Exactly. There are a lot of places in the world today where fruit is not being produced due to a lack of bees, and you can see here how they have a role connecting different animals and
and plants in the system. Our life as producers has changed. It gave us the chance to be
economically free, which is something that we never
experienced in the past. We used to have this constant feeling of drowning under financial pressure, and of always being at the edge of the abyss. I think that is the situation for
most producers nowadays; depending on a variable that can go from being efficient to inefficient or from making money to not making money. In these production systems that are decoupled from inputs and where everything generated is done from within the gate, you get to what is called financial
freedom, and that is priceless.