Tag Archives: andrea illy

Illycaffè Earns the First DNV Responsible Supply Chain Process Certification

On March 18, 2011 illycaffè became the world’s first company to receive a Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Responsible Supply Chain Process certification, attesting to the company’s long-running sustainable approach to production and its relations with stakeholders throughout the production chain, particularly with green coffee suppliers.

The illycaffè model is innovative in assigning critical roles to quality and value creation. The certification was officially conferred at illycaffè’s twentieth annual meeting in Brazil, recognizing suppliers for coffee production meeting the company’s industry-leading quality standards.

DNV, an international, independent leader in product and process certification, in part modeled its new certification standard on the illycaffè supply chain model, buttressing it with current and emerging stringent guidelines for sustainability and corporate responsibility, and with standards of reference for certification and accreditation activities. The certification incorporates both pan-industry standards and industry specific standards. Officially, illycaffè received the DNV Green Coffee Responsible Supply Chain Process certification.

The standard developed by DNV is innovative because it marks the passage from the certification of an organization’s supply chain to the certification of an organization’s ability to create value that benefits everyone involved.

“We are proud to have obtained this certification, which recognizes and validates how we have operated over the past 20 years, through protocols and procedures that guarantee the excellence of our final product,” said Andrea Illy, President and Managing Director of illycaffè. “illycaffè has always been a stakeholder company, based on ethics and with the objective of improving quality of life. Quality is a key concept in our company philosophy. Our continuous search for quality creates a virtuous cycle that creates value for everyone involved, from coffee growers to coffee drinkers, in growing magnitude over time.”

Quality and sustainability are for illycaffè inseparable: a truly excellent product cannot be anything but sustainable in three critical aspects: economic, social and environmental. Economic sustainability is achieved through the creation of value for all those involved, from the grower to the final consumer. Social sustainability rests on the concepts of individual growth and self-realization. Environmental sustainability means respect for the ecosystem, through, for example, the use of recyclable shipping and packaging materials and the application of non-polluting practices.

“This supply chain certification standard is particularly innovative in demonstrating a company’s ability to create value over the long term,” said Thomas Vogth-Eriksen, Chief Executive Officer DNV Business Assurance. “The schema focuses on the building of shared value in a context where social development stimulates economic development, recognizing that a business grows in large part through its ability to help its partners and suppliers grow.”

Over the past two decades illycaffè has perfected a system of direct relationships with its suppliers, based on three main pillars: selecting the best growers in coffee producing countries; transferring to these growers, through the company’s Università del Caffè and the daily field work of specialized agronomists, comprehensive knowledge accumulated over 80 years of practical experience and research to produce coffee meeting illy’s high quality standards; and purchasing the best production directly from growers, paying them a premium over the going market price to reward quality achieved, and incentivize ongoing improvement. (Source: BusinessWire)

Sustainability and retail: a big Italian player point of view

Two days ago a couple of ECOFFEE‘s team members attended an interesting meeting regarding the Retail landscape in Italy, with a special focus on the sunglasses and eyeglasses sector. When the “Any question?” moment arrived, we asked to the speaker “What about sustainability in the Retail business?”. The answer was a HUGE “?”, followed by a: “Maybe in 2015”.

This answer made us smile, because it was the usual answer of those professionals in the Retail field who pretend that a trend does not exist until the trend has changed into an issue to be solved. 

No more than two weeks ago, Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffè S.p.A,  expressed his point of view about sustainability in a very interesting post published by Fastcompany. Here’s a couple of key sentences. “I’m taking about a broader notion of sustainability that includes social and economic equity right alongside environmental responsibility, serving a triple bottom line. (….) The key is acting early–acting now–before the confidence of consumers, investors and other stakeholders is irreparably damaged. The best rescue of sustainability’s meaning and power is one that is never made….Consequently, a genuinely holistic approach to sustainability is required: one that creates value throughout the entire supply chain. And in order to do that we must focus on raising quality. (…) By perpetually seeking higher quality, a cycle goes into motion, creating sustainable value for every player. The result is long-term viability in lockstep with ever-increasing quality in the cup.(…) Broader adoption and smart marketing of a powerful certification symbol (….) will create widespread understanding of what sustainable agriculture means, and place the power to demand genuinely responsible production squarely where it belongs: in the consumer’s hands.” We obviously share Andrea Illy’s point of view, and we wish that knowing his opinion about sustainability, all the skeptical retail professional will make up their minds.