Coffee Cluster closes Expo with a record attendance of more than 13 million visitors who joined illy for the greatest celebration of coffee in history.

Milan, 31 October 2015Between 1 May and 31 October, more than 13 million people visited the Coffee Cluster. illy, Official Coffee Partner di Expo 2015, curated the Cluster’s design and content.

Expo 2015 was the perfect opportunity to stage the biggest celebration of coffee in history and embark on a journey through the three dimensions of coffee: the product, how it gets from bean to cup, and the culture that has sprung up around coffee, including the traditions found in countries where coffee is grown and consumed.

An extraordinary number of visitors came with us on this journey, over the six-month event actively taking part in a huge number of educational, cultural and entertainment-based initiatives that illy staged at the cluster, linked into the Expo’s overarching theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Andrea Illy, illycaffè’s Chairman and CEO, says: The Cluster was – and indeed gave rise to – a unique opportunity for coffee-producing and coffee-consuming nations to meet. Many projects of global interest were launched at Expo 2015 to foster dialogue and raise awareness about topics like sustainability, the working conditions of coffee producers, and climate change. On 1 October, Expo hosted the first Global Coffee Forum and celebrated the first International Coffee Day, at which the Milan Coffee Legacy was presented as an addendum to the Milano Charter. The Legacy focuses specifically on social and economic development in rural coffee producing communities.”

The Coffee Cluster’s approach proved to be an enormous success with visitors, with:

  • Over 35,000 traditional and digital guided tours using Epson Moverio glasses;
  • Close to 12,000 people taking courses put on by the Università del Caffè;
  • 870,000 coffee-based items served at the illy bar to Pavilion visitors.

Over the six-month event, illy hosted many guests at the Coffee Cluster, including Sebastião Salgado, Martha Stewart, Jeffrey Sachs (Director of the Earth Institute), chefs Gualtiero Marchesi, Josean Alija, Andrea Berton and Davide Oldani, Debora Serracchiani (President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region), Maurizio Scaparro, Pino Micol, sociologist Francesco Morace, José Graziano da Silva (FAO Director-General), Santo Versace, Francis Ford Coppola and Joe Bastianich.

On 31 October, Expo Ambassador Mr Bastianich enjoyed Expo’s closing celebrations by going on a special tour accompanied by Andrea Illy.

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 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.