In 1994, Dr. Illy received the Italian award Cavaliere del Lavoro, the order of merit for industrial achievement, and in 1996 he became chairman of Centromarca (the Italian association of the brand industry) a position to which he was re-elected several times until his passing.
Dr. Illy revolutionized the importance of coffee growing in Brazil and elsewhere in the world. In his tireless quest for the perfect espresso, he encouraged the production of top quality coffee and continued investment in research. Known as the Ambasciatore del caffè (Coffee Ambassador), he promoted illycaffe’s initiatives, Premio Brasil de Qualidade do Café para Espresso, Università del Caffè in Brazil, and the Clube illy do Café, all of which provided incentives for public and private institutions.
His hard work over the years led Dr. Illy to become an honorary citizen of the Brazilian cities of Monte Carmelo, Venda Nova do Imigrantes and Araponga. In 2004 he received the highest award from that nation’s State of Espírito Santo, the Comenda Jerônimo Monteiro. That same year, the National Coffee Association of Guatemala bestowed him with its highest decoration, as member of the order “Flor del Cafè“.
Our conduct is guided by a compass of ethics.
In Italy, Dr. Illy was among the pioneers of the modern concept of branding. He believed that a brand is the basis of a promise given to the consumer, the ethical dimension of which should distinguish a company’s inner life as well as its business.
In 2007, he became – for the second time – one of the “three wise men” of Confindustria (the Italian employers’ federation), responsible for determining the strategies and possible candidates for the association’s top-level management.