It wouldn’t be entirely untrue to write that cork is the raw material for every kind of work; such is the amount of business that this material has enabled in recent years. If, up until very recently, cork was synonymous with the bottle stopper, nowadays its applications vary between the height in craftsmanship and the most sophisticated of technologies. A premium raw material, Portuguese product par excellence, cork has made its mark as one of the secret ingredients behind national business success.

100% natural, cork is essential in creating new opportunities in a green economy. As a sustainable material, cork, which is actually the bark of the cork oak (Quercus Suber L.), seems unstoppable in its growth and consolidation. Each cork oak takes 25 years before its bark can be stripped for the first time; its bark can be stripped around 17 times in its lifetime, on average 200 years.

Responsible for balanced flora and fauna for the environment and for generating business and value, cork is now used in varying sectors, from construction or aeronautics, to fashion and decorative items, in an endless array of products: it can be used for sound proofing and thermal insulation, as floor and wall covering, for making musical instruments, shoes, bags, jewellery, fishing rods, umbrellas, home consumer foods, lighting objects, luxury furniture, kayaks, car parts and… bottle stoppers. Through APCOR – Portuguese Cork Association – it is easy to understand that cork is part of the future. The importance of cork stoppers in exports is major, but other areas are starting to emerge in commercial terms. Corticeira Amorim, the world’s largest cork product processing company, has played a great part in this, investing five million Euros annually in research, development and innovation. (…)

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Text: Ângela Rodrigues

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