The Four Pillars of Certification

Plant Health Standards

The seed producer or nursery follows best practices for raising healthy, disease-free seeds and plants.

  • Nurseries and seed suppliers address critical points for producing healthy plants, including soil substrate, presence of nutritional deficiencies, diseases/pests, root health, mechanical damage, herbicide damage, etc.

Genetic Purity

The coffee variety has been identified using World Coffee Research DNA fingerprinting so farmers can be certain they are buying the correct variety.

  • Mother plants from seed producers are tested for genetic conformity to the variety standard using DNA fingerprinting, and non-conforming plants must be removed.
  • Nurseries must present documentation to demonstrate that varieties have been received from WCR Verified℠ seed producers, and plants are spot-checked using DNA fingerprinting to ensure varieties have not been mixed in transit or at the nursery.


The nursery makes information about the agronomic performance of different varieties available to farmers so they can make an informed choice.

  • A cornerstone of the WCR Verified℠ program is the WCR Coffee Varieties Catalog of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, which provides open-access information about different varieties—including each varieties’ nutritional needs, expected yield and cup quality potential, and disease resistances. Any nursery selling WCR Verified℠ plants must make the catalog available.
  • Knowing the primary agronomic traits of different varieties helps farmers select the optimum variety to ensure the viability of their coffee trees, achieve economic success for their farm and have confidence their replanted trees will satisfy market demands.

Breeder’s Rights

The nursery gives credit to breeders and their rights are respected.

  • If a nursery or seed supplier is propagating or selling a plant for which a breeder retains breeders’ rights, they must demonstrate that they have the appropriate permission to commercialize the plant.