illycaffè and the Brazilian espresso knowledge network
Italian roaster illycaffè celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008. It is known worldwide for the quality of its espresso, serving 6 million cups in more than 50 thousand shops spread over 144 countries. The illy espresso is a refined blend of nine types of coffee beans purchased in 13 producing countries. Out of those, the Arabica variety produced in Brazil accounts for 50% of the coffee used in the blend. In order to acquire quality coffee beans in the volume and scale needed to serve its customers while meeting the stringent quality requirements of the company, illycaffè developed an extensive and complex supplier network. Aiming to ensure quality along all processes, the company brought into the network all the links of the coffee production chain, from the plantation to the processing of the coffee beans in the company facilities in Trieste (Italy). To show its appreciation for suppliers and ensure a reliable supply of fine Brazilian coffee, the company developed a series of strategic actions that went beyond business relations to include an educational effort, generating and disseminating information and knowledge on how to produce quality coffee (also known as specialty or gourmet coffee), while also forging strong ties with all the elements in the net.
KeywordsKnowledge Network Coffee Bean Strategic Action Superior Quality Coffee Producer
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Allen SL (2001) The devil's cup: coffee, the driving force in history. Canongate Books, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
- Andriani P, Detoni AF (2008) An interview with Ernesto Illy on complexity, coffee and Management. Emergence: Complexity and Organization Vol. 10(1):84–88Google Scholar
- Benkler Y (2006) The wealth of networks: how social production transforms markets and freedom. Yale University Press, New Haven and London. Available at: http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_Of_Networks.pdf Accessed on Feb. 20, 2008
- CACCER – Conselho das Associações dos Cafeicultores do Cerrado (The Council of Coffee Producer Associations of the Cerrado). História do conselho. (History of the council). Available at: http://www.cafedocerrado.org/br/doc/caccer_hist.pdf
- Castells M (2007) A sociedade em rede. A era da informação: economia, sociedade e cultura. (The networked society. The information era: economy, society and culture) V. 1, 10th edition. Paz e Terra, São PauloGoogle Scholar
- Daviron B, Ponte S (2005) The coffee paradox: global markets, commodity trade and the elusive promise of development. Zed Books, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Granovetter M (1992) Problems of explanations in economic sociology. In Nohria N, Eccles RG (eds) Networks and organizations: structure, form, and action. Harvard Business School Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
- Luttinger N and Dicum G (2006) The coffee book: anatomy of an industry from crop to the last drop. The New Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Watts, D. 2003. Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar