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Maya Certified



  • Produced by Women and Youth

  • Highest Quality Guaranteed
  • Sustainably Wild Harvested

  • Fair Trade

  • Natural, Chemical-free, Non-GMO

  • Reforestation guaranteed

  • Local consumption guaranteed via Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests Maya Nut School Lunch programs

The Maya Nut Certified™ standard is applicable to Maya Nut harvested from natural forests, forest patches, riparian areas, individual trees interspersed in coffee or other agricultural plantations and agroforestry systems. Monoculture plantations and producer groups or individuals that depend on hired/contract labor, or who harvest from plantations that apply chemical fertilizers or pesticides during any part of the year do not qualify for Maya Nut Certified™ certification. Maya Nut Certified™ certification is currently offered by Maya Nut Institute, Colorado, United States to cooperatives, associations, women’s groups, individuals and businesses producing Maya Nut.

The certification process is voluntary and should be initiated by the producers though it is permissible for a buyer to instigate and finance certification for a producer group.  The group requesting certification should understand the criteria and take steps to compliance before initiating the certification process. Once all criteria are met by the applicant, they should register online and pay the registration fee of $100.


Maya Nut Certified™ at this stage is designed to certify producers. Eventually we hope to develop a certification for Maya Nut intermediaries, distributors and companies. This certification guarantees a natural, sustainable, fair trade, women’s product to consumers.  If producers were to finance these certifications via conventional certification programs, to obtain 3 of the key certifications (Organic, Fair Trade, Sustainable Wild Harvested) would cost upward of $18,000 in the first year and an average of $5,000 every year thereafter. Because none of the producer groups currently operating has this capital available, we devised a participatory, integrated self-certification. Certification is an effective tool to motivate producers to adhere to the highest socioeconomic and environmental standards. For consumers this certification serves to guarantee sustainability, fair trade, gender equity and production without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

Production costs of many tropical commodities are high, but their production offsets the real cost of production by way of heavy reliance on child labor, unfair wages paid to workers, and sanctioned and unsanctioned land-grabbing. Maya Nut production does not rely on these “subsidies” and therefore its price reflects the real cost of production incurred by the producers.



Maya Nut Certification is based on meeting the following 10 criteria

  1. Compliance with local/national laws and with Maya Nut Certified™  criteria
  2. Legal ownership or right to harvest granted by landowner to access Maya Nut trees.
  3. Fair trade prices paid for purchase of green/fresh seed, dry seed, and other products and fair wages paid to workers.
  4. Indigenous rights and intellectual property are respected
  5. Women and youth from local communities are the primary beneficiaries of Maya Nut harvest and sales
  6. Maya nut seed quality and hygiene meet Maya Nut Certified™ standards
  7. Maya Nut is sustainably wild-harvested from natural forest, forest patches or wild trees based on a Management Plan or Harvest Plan.
  8. Natural production, without application or contact with chemicals during any part of the chain of custody. Never genetically modified.
  9. Reforestation with a minimum of 3 trees for each 100lb of Maya Nut sold by the producer group. The trees can be planted on community or private land, or can be produced and sold as seedlings to third parties wishing to reforest.
  10. Local consumption of Maya Nut. 10% of all Maya Nut sales will be used to purchase and distribute processed Maya Nut to local schools as part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests Maya Nut school lunch program.