Matawi Mead: Great for your Palate and the Planet

About Us

Matawi, which means branches in Swahili, is for-profit venture with a clear environmental and social ethos. Matawi’s mead range uses water exclusively for production, which translates to less than 10% of the water required to produce alcohol made from base ingredients that must be irrigated for months. Matawi thus seeks, foremost, to contribute to water conservation, while securing the ancillary benefits of promoting responsible production and consumption and creating employment and income-generating opportunities to help alleviate entrenched poverty and inequality.

Matawi’s is not merely an intellectual appreciation for the increased commodification of water, its growing scarcity, and anticipated contestation for access; but a very lived reality: Matawi is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa, which in 2018 experienced its worst drought in over a century, introducing the real possibility of day zero – marking the exhaustion of the city’s potable water supply.
Matawi’s environmental commitment runs throughout the company’s DNA, extending to the exclusive use of recycled or recyclable materials; the establishment of a sustainable operation and supply chain; and the intentional adoption of a triple bottom line approach, placing the planet and people on par with profits.

This has meant a slower, more thoughtful roll-out, supported (initially) solely by the founder’s capital contributions to ensure that the company does not deviate from its vision. The value of this approach was affirmed by Investec, which awarded Matawi R100,000 for the most promising pitch in Startup School Africa’s Incubation Programme.

Ultimately, Matawi’s founders seek to establish a company with an enduring legacy, which lifts people and communities out of poverty, generates sufficient profit to plow back into development initiatives, entrenches an aspirational African brand that becomes globally beloved and synonymous with celebration – of life, leisure, dowry negotiations, travel, births, honeymoons, graduations, weddings, coming-of-age-ceremonies, anniversaries, and all of life’s precious adventures; all without compromising the freshwater required to sustain food crops and humanity.