Ernesto Illy Award for Sustainable Espresso Coffee awards Brazil’s top coffee producers

Ernesto Illy Award for Sustainable Espresso Coffee awards Brazil’s top coffee producers

May 17 - 2022

Coffee Geography Magazine

Coffee from Minas Gerais of the state Brazil took the first, second, and third winning place of Illy’s award. The award ceremony for the 31st Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso of Brazil was held early May, 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.

The 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.

illycaffè is an Italian family-owned company, founded in Trieste in 1933. Illycaffè produces a unique 100% Arabica blend, combining 9 of the best varieties in the world, selected by illycaffè: every day 8 million cups of illy coffee are served in over 140 countries around the globe, in the cafés, restaurants and hotels, in single-brand cafés and shops, at home. As a result of its innovations, illycaffè contributes to the coffee technology progress at global level. In 1991, the “Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso” was launched in Brazil for quality espresso coffee. Illycaffè has contributed to the sharing of the know-how, paying growers a premium price for the best quality selected by illycaffè. Since 2016, with the “Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award”, the company has celebrated coffee growers all over the world that, according to illy, have produced the best sustainable coffee.