31st Ernesto Illy Award for Sustainable Espresso Coffee recognizes Brazil’s top coffee producers

Coffee from Minas Gerais state place first, second, and third in the traditional award

São Paulo, May 5, 2022 - The award ceremony for the 31st Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso of Brazil was held today, bringing together Brazil’s best coffee producers and announcing the names of the three finalists who will represent Brazil at the Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award. They were: Candido de Sordi Machado (South Minas), Claudio Esteves Gutierrez (Chapada de Minas), and João Batista dos Santos (Matas de Minas).

illycaffè has been promoting the production of sustainable quality coffee in Brazil for more than thirty years by supporting local growers through onsite visits of its agronomists and technicians and through the University of Coffee.

The 31st awards were assigned during a physical ceremony, for the first time in three years, as the last two editions were held by remotely. The event was attended by illycaffè chairman Andrea Illy and Chief Sustainability Officer Anna Illy.

The judging panel, composed of Brazilian and international experts from illycaffè, chose the winners among 40 national finalists. The three winners of this year’s awards received diplomas and checks worth R$10,000 each.

These three winners will represent Brazil at the 7th Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award, which will be held later in the year, and will see 27 coffee growers from nine countries that supply beans to illycaffè, competing to in the title of the Best of the Best. On that occasion, the order of the three Brazilian finalists (first, second, and third in the national award) will also be revealed. 

The 4th, 5th, and 6th place at the Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso of Brazil were already revealed: Luiz Miguel Costa Rocha (Tapiratiba, São Paulo state), Marie Nakao Sasaki (Patos de Minas, Minas Gerais), and Cristiane Zancanaro Simões (Cristalina, Goiás state), respectively.

The Ernesto Illy Award is the most important acknowledgement of Brazilian coffee production, contributing to the development of coffee quality and sustainability in the country since 1991. Offering to coffee producers, the opportunity to improve the quality of their work and their products is part of illycaffè’s commitment to its search for sustainable quality worldwide. Of equal importance is the creation of a system of rewards for those who achieve the goals that have been set. illycaffè thus established an annual award for the best coffee crop. This makes it possible for producers to take on a challenge, see if their work measures up to that of their peers, and to have a chance to be rewarded while being motivated to constantly improve their efforts. It has recognized more than 1,500 coffee growers over the years. More than R$120,000 in prizes were awarded during the ceremony.