tHE cORK vALUE CHAIN AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The cork chain showcases the traditional different phases and current active participants in the cork processes. Innovation is a key word for the future development of cork in Portugal: innovation in technology and also in work management. This starts by questioning the chain and the position of the people behind each step.
We also believe in a circular economy by transition to renewable energy and a systemic way in which to produce, allowing enough space for everyone in the chain and closing the cycles in a way in which we can avoid waste.
The NUMBERS SPEAK...
There are roughly 2,200,000 hectares of cork forest worldwide, 34% in Portugal and 27% in Spain. Annual production is about 200,000 tons; 49.6% from Portugal, 30.5% from Spain, 5.8% from Morocco, 4.9% from Algeria, 3.5% from Tunisia, 3.1% Italy, and 2.6% from France.
Once the trees are about 25 years old the cork is traditionally stripped from the trunks every nine years. The trees live for about 300 years.
The cork industry is environmentally friendly and sustainable because the cork tree is not cut down to obtain cork; only the bark is stripped to harvest the cork.The tree continues to live and grow. The sustainability of production and the easy recycling of cork products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects. Cork Oak forests also prevent desertification and are a particular habitat in the Iberian Peninsula and the refuge of various endangered species.
70% of cork products are destined for use in the wine industry whilst 26% of cork exports relate to construction and decoration materials.