Conference Speakers

Ernesto Illy

Ernesto Illy was born 1925 in Trieste.

Son of Francesco, the founder of Illycaffè, he obtained a degree in Chemistry at the University of Bologna in 1947. In 1956 he became co-owner and CEO, and, since 1963, he is the chairman of the company.

Ernesto Illy is an outstanding personality in the coffee world, recognized for his deep knowledge and competence. He is a member and chairman of many international scientific organizations, among which:

  • A.S.I.C. (Association Scientifique Internationale du Café - Paris) - an international association devoted to study the various aspects of coffee (chemistry, biology, botany, agronomy, etc.) Ernesto Illy has been co-founder and chairman in 1967, 1979 and 1981; resently he is senior vice-president.
  • P.E.C. (Physiological Effects of Coffee - Paris) - this organization studies the physiological effects of coffee and gives scientific answers to the hypothesis and objections that periodicalli arise on this topic. Chairman in 1981.
  • I.S.I.C. (Institut for Scientific Information on Coffee - Paris) - studies the scientific aspects of coffee and promotes the information on coffee and health. Chairman since 1991.
  • I.C.O. (International Coffee Organization - Londra) - it is the institution in charge of the government of the coffee world in all its aspects. Member of the P.S.C.B. (Private Sector Consultative Body), the consultative body for the increase of the value and the consumption of coffee. On Sep. 24th, 2002 Dr. Illy has been elected Chairman of the Promotion Committee.

In 1996 Ernesto Illy was elected Chairman of Centromarca (Associazione Italiana delle Industrie di Marca) a position which was reconfirmed until 2002.

In April 1997, Specialty Coffee Association of America (S.C.A.A.) awarded him the "Lifetime Achievement Award" recognizing Dr. Illy's commitment to the diffusion of high quality coffee.

In 2001 he obtained the Premio Tagliacarne and the Premio Leonardo Qualità Italia, two prestigeous Italian awards.

In 2002 the city of Monte Carmelo (Brazil) conferred honorary citizenship on Dr. Illy.

On 2nd June 1994 Dr Illy was appointed Cavaliere del Lavoro, one of Italy's most important honours.