The 25th Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee goes to Juliana Tyko Armelin

Sao Paolo, Brazil, 7 April 2016 – It’s a silver anniversary for the “Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee.” In fact, last night, a celebration was held for the 25th edition of the award introduced to Brazil by illycaffè in 1991 as concrete recognition of the work of growers that have committed themselves to producing quality coffee in a sustainable way.

This is a prestigious milestone for the company, which has always made social, economic and environmental sustainability the cornerstones of its philosophy. The award has also served as an important incentive, which has taken the Brazilian bean to a considerably higher level, making it universally recognized and appreciated.

This unique edition was conquered by women. In fact, the much sought-after award was won by Juliana Tyko Armelin of the company Terra Alta, from the city of Ibià (Minas Gerais). This was the first time the producer had participated in the competition, and she returns the trophy to the Cerrado Mineiro region after a seven-year absence. 
During the awards ceremony for this traditional competition organized by illycaffè, Juliana Tyko Armelin was awarded 70,000 reais. Second place went to Laerte Pelosini Filho of the state of São Paulo while third place went to another woman - Leda Terezinha Castellani Pereira Lima of Minas Gerais. For this edition, the Trieste-based company gave away prizes valued at 220,000 Brazilian reais to growers (national finalists and regional winners) and winners of special prizes.

During the awards event, which took place last night at the CETIP Theatre of the Tomie Othake Institute in São Paulo, Andrea Illy, President and CEO of illycaffè, announced the evolution of the Brazil Prize and the creation of the first International Ernesto Illy Award. With this new award, illy will proclaim the best coffee in the world each year, chosen among the coffees that come from the nine growing regions that make up the unique illy blend.

“Since 1991 and up to today, more than 10,000 producers have participated in the Ernesto Illy Award with more than $4 million awarded, which has contributed to the development of entire regions of Brazil, such as the areas around Pirajù, the inland areas of Cerrado and the mountainous regions of the state of Minas Gerais,” said Andrea Illy. “After 25 years of working with Brazilian growers and the excellent results achieved, we want to extend these opportunities to all growers we work with, in the 9 Countries from which come the 9 ingredients making up our blend, including of course Brazil itself. The award will therefore follow a natural global evolution, and will go from being a local initiative to become the first truly international award dedicated to the quality of coffee.”

The first International Ernesto Illy Award will be assigned in New York in autumn 2016.

A jury of national and international experts chose the best coffees after testing samples and classifying the beans by appearance, desiccation, colour, type, moisture level, roast and, finally, the quality of the beverage.

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 has been an official partner of Expo 2015, creating and managing the content, exhibits and events centred 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 centre 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 €391 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.

Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee
The history of illycaffè in Brazil began in 1991 with the company's search for coffee beans to use in its exclusive blend. After finding a market that sold coffee, but considered it to be a product of little value and mediocre quality, illycaffè decided to have faith in the potential of the country and its coffee, thereby writing a new chapter in Brazil's history of coffee production.  Ernesto Illy explored the rural areas of Brazil far and wide, showing producers that there was a market willing to pay (even much higher prices) to obtain a superior quality product. The presence and constant support of illycaffè have given new life to the entire production chain and have made tools and machinery for creating a new type of product available to the growers. Apart from investing to obtain the best coffee beans possible, illycaffè decided to offer a concrete sign of appreciation for the hard work of producers who agreed to comply with the principles of quality and sustainability. It was thus that twenty-one years ago an award was launched, which over time became the most important accolade concerning the quality of coffee in the country: il Prêmio Brasil de Qualidade do Café para Espresso (Brazil Quality Award for Espresso Coffee). Since 2008, this competition has been called the Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee as a tribute to the deceased honorary president of illycaffè. Already in its 24th year, the competition has thus far awarded a total of over 4 million dollars in prizes to coffee growers.

The Clube illy do Café was inaugurated in June 2000 and now boasts over 600 members. Through the Club, illycaffè unites and maintains contact with its main suppliers and rewards them when they comply with the requirements of quality and consistent supply of the best coffee beans. Members receive information (films, brochures and newsletters), which enables them to be constantly updated regarding the most innovative issues and market news.  Among the benefits that they enjoy are free courses and seminars at the Universidade do Café Brasil (the Brazilian branch of the Università del Caffè) and special terms for purchasing illycaffè products. Partners also have access to exclusive events and plantation visits: these are the most interesting and popular elements of the programme, in so far as they offer coffee producers the chance to create a network and share their experiences and techniques under the guidance of specialists and technical staff from the company.