ATLANTA, GA–(Marketwired – April 14, 2016) – Illy, a global leader in direct trade with coffee growers, and an industry innovator in sustainability and technology spanning eight decades, will mark key milestones in its storied history, and set the stage for what’s next in coffee culture, at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Expo, April 14-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
One such milestone, in direct trade leadership, was reached in Sao Paolo last week with the 25th awarding of the Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee, given to Tyko Armelin, from the city of Ibià (Minas Gerais). The award program, established in 1991, has from inception made social, economic and environmental sustainability its pillars, while playing a major role in transforming Brazil’s reputation from high-volume supplier to high-quality producer. Since its founding, more than 10,000 producers have participated in the Ernesto Illy Award program, with more than 4.5 million in Brazilian reais awarded, helping stimulate development of entire coffee growing regions within Brazil, such as the areas around Pirajù, the inland areas of Cerrado and the mountainous regions of the state of Minas Gerais.
The award program’s significance, and illy’s commitment to coffee growing communities around the world, will be underscored at SCAA with a screening of “A Small Section of the World,” a documentary produced by illycaffè and directed by Academy Award winner Lesley Chilcott. Attendees of the screening, on Sunday, April 17 at the Georgia World Congress Center, will learn the story of a group of brave women from Costa Rica who battled the economic crisis in their small community by growing coffee. Their uplifting story embodies strength and female emancipation, as the women of the ASOMOBI coffee cooperative develop a sustainable business that stands to support their families and community for many years.
Illycaffè’s unique approach to sustainability rests on three main pillars: discovering and directly working with the highest-quality producers of Arabica coffee; transferring knowledge and directly training growers on increasing quality with minimal environmental impact; and rewarding high-quality production to illy standards with a pledge to provide growers with a guaranteed profit, encouraging reinvestment to promote sustainable enterprise.
To reinforce and gain third-party validation of its approach, illy became the world’s first company to apply for and earn the Responsible Supply Chain Process certification by DNV GL, the leading industrial certification body, which sets high bars and objective measures for sustainability, quality and value creation for all company stakeholders.
Illy is also marking its presence at the U.S. specialty coffee industry’s biggest annual event with the US release of A Coffee Dream, a memoir of a life in coffee from Andrea Illy, the company’s visionary, third-generation leader. In often highly personal terms, A Coffee Dream tells the story of a family and a company always striving to realize the dream of the author’s grandfather, company founder Francesco Illy, to offer the best coffee in the world. That journey has been marked by the pioneering of practices and technologies that would become industry standards, and a holistic view of the beauty of coffee that would lead to long-running initiatives including the illy Art Collection.
Innovations Past, Present and Future
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of iperEspresso, a game-changing, patented single-serve capsule system that illy developed with a special valve that enables a two-phase extraction: hyper-infusion and emulsion. The technology enables everyone to make a perfect espresso in restaurants, hotels and even at home with all the qualities of an ideally-made illy espresso: fresh, smooth, full-bodied and aromatic, with a rich, persistent and velvety crema, as if prepared by an illy-trained barista.
Illy’s pioneering single-serve innovations can be traced to the 1970s, when it introduced paper pods: pre-measured, tamped discs of coffee ideally ground for espresso and compatible with all standard espresso machines, which took the trial-and-error out of espresso making. The process carried the technical DNA developed by company founder Francesco Illy’s invention of the illetta: the first automatic espresso machine that separated pressure and heating elements, and the methodology that still powers all traditional espresso machines today.
Simultaneous to the SCAA Expo, at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, illy will demonstrate its latest innovation: the illy Personal Blender. Showcased as a prototype at Expo Milano 2015, this illy designed and patented machine enables coffee lovers to develop their own blend, tailored to their ideal taste profile, from the nine ingredients and notes found in the classic illy blend, through use of a mobile device. Building on the company’s eight-plus decades of pioneering, leading-edge inventions, the illy Personal Blender takes the experience of savoring an espresso to a more personal level, opening up new horizons in a world where individual choice and personal experiences have become central to coffee connoisseurship.
•A Coffee Dream can be purchased at www.illyusa.com. Price is $21.00 plus shipping.
•illy is located at booth 1749 for the SCAA EXPO at the Georgia World Congress Center from April 14-17, 2016
•Visit http://asmallsectionoftheworld.com/ for more information on the documentary
Illycaffè was founded in Trieste in 1933; the company manufactures and markets a unique blend of 100% Arabica espresso coffee and is the leading brand in top quality coffee. Illycaffè was an official partner of Expo 2015, creating and managing the content, exhibits and events centered on coffee in the common area of the Expo Coffee Cluster. Almost 7 million cups of illy coffee are consumed daily throughout the world. Illy coffee is sold in more than 140 countries and is served in over 100,000 of the world’s finest restaurants and cafés. The stores and monobrand illy shops are about 230 in 43 Countries. The company also set up and runs the Coffee University with a view to fostering and spreading the culture of coffee; this center of excellence provides comprehensive academic and hands-on training for coffee growers, baristas and fans covering every aspect of the product. The company has approximately 1,084 people on its global payroll, and in 2014 posted consolidated revenues of EUR391 million. Illy purchases green coffee beans directly from growers of the highest quality Arabica, based on partnerships underpinned by the principles of sustainable development. Out of its Trieste headquarters the company encourages long-term partnerships with the world’s best growers in Brazil, Central America, India and Africa, sharing know-how and technology and paying higher than market compensation.