Andrea Illy on Ethics, Sustainability and its Link to Performance

//Andrea Illy on Ethics, Sustainability and its Link to Performance

Andrea Illy on Ethics, Sustainability and its Link to Performance


By: Ethisphere

After rounds of blind tastings at the United Nations by an international independent jury of top culinary and coffee experts, illycaffè, the global leader in high-quality coffee and a pioneer of large-scale, directly-traded coffee, announced that coffee beans grown by Honduras’s José Abelardo Díaz Enamorado were designated “Best of the Best” in the 2017 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award.The top-scoring coffee lot was named from among 27 of the world’s best lots from the 2016/2017 harvests in nine countries, at a gala on October 16, attended by representatives of each grower and delegates from each nation.

The Ernesto llly International Coffee Award, named for illy’s visionary, second-generation leader, recognizes excellence in raising coffee of the highest quality through sustainable means. The award celebrates his company’s hand-in-hand work with farmers to realize its dream of offering the best coffee to the world. After the celebrations, Ethisphere had a chance to catch up with Andrea Illy, Chairman of illycaffè a five-time World’s Most Ethical Companies to discuss ethics, sustainability and its link to performance.

Here are some highlights from the interview:

  • Corporations are social institutions that can improve the quality of life in communities
  • A good culture of ethics can lead to long-term sustainable businesses
  • Ethics, sustainability, and performance are intertwined
  • Studies show sustainable investments reap high returns
  • Companies must remain consistent with producing high-quality products

Click below to listen to the full recording.



The Award is rooted in a program that illy established nearly three decades ago in Brazil, originally called Premio de Qualidade do Cafè para Espresso, that drove illy’s transformation to a company that today purchases nearly 100 percent of its coffee beans directly from producers able to meet its exacting quality standards, at a guaranteed premium over market prices averaging 30 percent. Today, illy stands as one of the world’s major purchasers of top-quality Arabica coffee directly from producers, whereby most coffee continues to be purchased on commodity markets, which can guarantee neither consistent quality nor a living wage to the coffee chain’s most important stakeholders: its 25 million families of growers.

By |2017-11-01T21:41:19+00:00October 27th, 2017|Employee Engagement|


Aarti Maharaj
Aarti Maharaj is Executive Editor and Director of Communications at Ethisphere. Maharaj covers ethics, compliance, risk, and corporate governance. She can be reached at

Welcome to the Insights and Resources Section of