Four Italian Cases
S. Sciascia This chapter presents the case study of Illycaffè, a company based in the Trieste coffee district that specialises in the production of high quality coffee. The aim of this chapter is to describe the entrepreneurial growth process of the firm, setting it within the context of the sector and the industrial district and presenting the economic–financial consequences of this growth. The chapter is thus divided into four sections: the coffee sector; the coffee district; the history of Illycaffè; and the performances of Illycaffè. 7.1. 7.1.1. THE COFFEE INDUSTRY The Market and the Industry at World Level Since the eighteenth century coffee has conquered over 90 per cent of the world adult population and is the third most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water and wine. Since the 1990s the coffee market has reached a significant size making it one of the major commodities of international trade. There are two main types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta. The first comes originally from the Middle East and is generally considered to be the best quality; the beans have a copper-green colour and produce a coffee that has a rich aroma and full flavour. The second comes originally from the Congo, is less costly to produce and is particularly resistant to disease; for this reason it is becoming more and more widely used in preference to the first. Coffee is in every respect a global industry; it is characterised by the presence of a few large multinational companies...
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