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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Is illy an ethical coffee brand?

Founded in 1933 by Francesco Illy in Italy, illy is a family-owned coffee brand that is easily recognised by its silver and red packaging. Its manufacturer is Illycaffè S.p.A. illy receives a low score from The Good Shopping Guide and due to its placement on the Ethical Coffee Ratings Table, it cannot be classed as an Ethical Coffee brand.

The Ethical Coffee Ratings Table shows how illy ranks against other coffee brands and can help you to learn more about the criteria that needs to be met in order for a brand to be considered ethical.

What does illy receive a top score for?

Due to the lack of negative records under Armaments and Nuclear Power, illy receives a top score from The Good Shopping Guide. illy also receives a top score for Animal Welfare, Public Record Criticism and Political Donations.

See more information about our research methodology and how we rate.

What does illy receive a bottom score for?

Unfortunately, illy’s coffee is not Organic or Fairtrade and receives a bottom score in these categories. illy’s website states that as its demand for the “highest quality beans is rarely met through organic coffee”, the brand does not use organic coffee beans.

illy also receives a bottom score for its Environmental Report, as it does not provide sufficient evidence of its environmental commitments and sustainability efforts.

What can illy do to improve its score? 

The score given to illy by The Good Shopping Guide is the result of a calculation of multiple ethical criteria. To meet our minimum ethical benchmark and to improve its score to become an ethical coffee brand, illy must work on some issues. This includes its bottom scores for Organic, Fairtrade and Environmental Report.

Do you run an ethical coffee company or do you work there? Maybe you roast, grow, or sell only single-origin beans or grounds, or you have a strict policy on the traceability of your sources. Perhaps you actually care about offering high-quality coffee at every point in the production chain and only use Fairtrade and organic beans. To begin, contact us or complete our quick initial assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating