UN World Happiness Report launched ahead of Int'l Happiness Day

Updated 2018-03-16 10:10:07 Xinhua

The 2018 United Nations World Happiness Report was launched in Rome ahead of International Happiness Day on March 20.

The UN began celebrating International Happiness Day in 2013, following it up in 2015 with the launch of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect the planet -- three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness.

One of the key sponsors of the UN World Happiness Report is Italian family-owned coffee company IllyCaffe, which has been promoting ethics and sustainability "from plant to cup" ever since it was founded in the northeastern city of Trieste in 1933.

The family-owned business is now present in 140 countries and had turnover of 460 million euros (about 567 million U.S. dollars) in 2016, according to its website.

"Our relationships with coffee growers...throughout the world are based on a mutual respect that has created sustainably higher incomes and stronger societies," commented IllyCaffe Chairman Andrea Illy, whose company sources more than two-thirds of the beans for its proprietary Illy blend from Colombia, Brazil and Central America.

"My family...has been working hand-in-hand with coffee growers in Latin America for nearly 40 years, helping them raise the quality of their output, earn higher prices for their achievements and build sustainable enterprises."

In comments to Xinhua, Illy said he is upbeat about the company's chances in China, where it is investing in the country's southwestern Yunnan province.

In spite of the fact that China has an ancient tradition of growing, drinking, and exporting tea, the two cultures -- one based on love of tea, the other on love of coffee -- are mixing more and more, Illy said.

The UN World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants, and was launched at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican on Wednesday. It looks at factors such as income, social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity, and perceived corruption.

Finland won the top spot this year, followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.

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