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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. If illy were to make some changes to its brand, it could apply for Ethical Accreditation. The Good Shopping Guide could then provide illy with an assessment and some detailed recommendations on how it can meet our minimum ethical benchmark.

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.

Is illy an Organic and Fairtrade coffee brand?

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.

What does illy receive a bottom score for?

illy receives a bottom score for its Environmental Report. Despite having multiple sustainability pages on its website which mention different ethical issues, illy only has one target which is to become Carbon Neutral by 2033. As many companies aim to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 and there is a lack of information about environmental issues on illy’s sustainability pages, it receives a bottom score.

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. By resolving these issues, illy could apply for Ethical Accreditation and potentially see itself becoming one of the top brands within the Ethical Coffee sector.

As many consumers like to choose ethical and sustainable brands, we would encourage illy and other low-scoring brands within the Ethical Coffee sector to apply for Ethical Accreditation.

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


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


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