FOUNDER/PRESIDENT--MAYORGA ORGANICS, LLC
When you ask Martin Mayorga where he’s from, you might hear a different answer each time. That’s because he was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to a Nicaraguan father and a Peruvian mother. Soon after, his family moved to Managua, Nicaragua.(This is where Martin was influenced by Cuban exiles in northern Nicaragua who took tobacco to Nicaragua and Honduras—which led to Martin launching Mayorga Cigars in 1995, later selling the brand to JR Cigars). When Martin was 7 years old, the Mayorga family fled Nicaragua due to the revolution to live in Costa Rica for about two years before moving to Peru–and ultimately moving to the United States. The Mayorga family settled in Miami for about 2 years during which Martin’s father spent time with Cubans and Nicaraguans who shared the unfortunate bond of leaving their countries behind due to political reasons. This introduction to the United States made a serious impact on Martin and he carried his love for Miami after the family moved to the Washington DC area to set roots.
When he returned to Nicaragua in 1991 at the age of 18, Martin witnessed the impact that many years of turmoil had on farmers that depended on the land to survive. At that moment Martin found his calling: to empower Latin American farmers by showcasing their artisanal, sustainable products to the U.S. consumer. He decided to use his education in International Business and Finance from Georgetown University to make a positive impact in Latin America. Now Martin oversees Mayorga Organics via a 24,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility in Rockville, MD with the purpose of eliminating systemic poverty in Latin America through the responsible trade of artisanal organic foods. Martin’s focus is the growth and scale of Mayorga Organics to best create opportunities for small farmers throughout Latin America as well as providing development opportunities for staff while offering a value for consumers. Martin’s focus on lean, high-quality operations has led the company to grow in a highly competitive market while creating an infallible reputation that has led to multiple awards, business recognition, speeches, international distribution, and private label manufacturing for some of the world’s largest retailers. He is now overseeing the construction of a 35,000 square foot facility and offices in Miami—across the street from Miami airport—as well as a retail shop in downtown Miami. He also recently launched a podcast, “Cultivating Change” to engage in conversations with individuals who are working to make a positive impact in Latin America.
Mayorga works with over 3,000 small farmers throughout 11 countries in Latin America, with the following annual imports:
- 4,000,000 lbs of organic coffee
- 4,500,000 lbs of organic chia
- 500,000 lbs of organic quinoa
- 500,000 lbs of organic black beans
- 100,000 lbs of organic cacao
The company’s purchases create over $1,000,000 in annual price premiums above commercial prices for producers, which have been used to build schools, medical centers, sports fields, and reinvestment in farms. Moreover, Mayorga’s negotiations with financial institutions on behalf of farmers has created over $600,000 in annual savings on previously high interest and sometimes predatory loans. Mayorga also manages operations in multiple countries with full time personnel (including agronomists) to provide better value and service for farmers. This includes paying for over 350 farmers’ organic certifications, teaching farmers how to plant and manage diversified crops, conducting soil samples, transitioning to organic practices, financial education, and even creating the first-ever quality protocols for cacao, in an effort to establish measurable qualities in raw and roasted cacao for the purpose of generating price premiums for producers and offering the highest quality cacao possible to consumers.
Martin lives in Miami and is divorced with two children. Brianna is 15 years old and Nicholas is 13. Both children are homeschooled. Brianna likes to babysit and is launching a brand of bath bombs, soaps, and candles with operations within Mayorga’s facility in Miami. Nicholas is the producer of the Cultivating Change podcast and helps with videos and editing for Mayorga.
Martin enjoys fishing and going out on his boat in Miami as well as snowboarding. His constant work travel takes him throughout Latin America and the U.S.
Georgetown University—Washington, DC 1994 – 1997
Major: International Business and Finance Minor: Latin American Studies
Montgomery College—Rockville, MD 1993 – 1994