Posted in Kafevend Blog

Recently on the blog we've been looking at a lot of environmentally and ethically minded topics. It just so happens that one coffee company in particular is dedicated to tackling these issues where others might turn a blind eye, so today we shall take a look at that company- Illycaffé- and what they're doing to garner international praise.

Illycaffé began in 1933 when an Austro-Hungarian soldier by the name of Francisco Illy settled in Trieste, an Italian town found on a small strip of land between Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea. Initially working with both cocoa and coffee, he soon came to focus on the latter. He devised ways to keep coffee fresh during transport, and also turned his hand to creating an espresso machine like so many others in Italy before him.

Francisco's son Ernesto studied chemistry at the University of Bologna. Following the end of the Second World War, Ernesto joined the company and used his newly found knowledge to establish a laboratory to study coffee and its chemical properties, seeking to improve our knowledge of the bean. He took over the company from Francisco in 1956, and in turn passed control of the company on to his own son, Andrea, in 1994, who remains the current chairman and CEO to this day.

Illycaffé use arabica beans to make all of their coffee, and they buy them directly from the farmers instead of through big, international coffee markets. Illy like to pass on the knowledge gained from the work of people like Ernesto to the farmers they buy from, helping them to improve their farming practices and produce higher quality coffee. As a further incentive, they established The Brazil Award in 1991, which rewards farmers who produce the highest quality coffee and encourages others to improve.

Along with handing out their own rewards, Illy themselves have been the recipients of several, due to their high ethical standards. This year they were again named as one of the world's most ethical companies by Ethisphere who stringently review applications by companies who believe they are deserving of the award. A few years ago in 2011, Illy were the first company ever to be awarded the rather drily named Responsible Supply Chain Process certification of sustainability by DNV, a leading group who examine industrial standards.

What this all means is that your mind can rest easy whenever you're trying a coffee from Illy. They likely have you covered when it comes to your preferred style of making coffee too, with a wide variety of blends and grinds to go with anything from an espresso machine to a simple stove top moka pot. We hope you give Illy a try!

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