Throughout the World, there are about 2.2 million hectares of cork oak forests, of which 32.4% are located in Portugal and 22.2% in Spain. Annual production is about 300,000 tons, of which 52.5% originates from Portugal, 29.5% from Spain and 5.5% from Italy.
Well-maintained forests of cork trees are proof that people can wisely and responsibly manage and use natural resources, and not threaten their survival in the process. The centuries-old cork oak trees adorn the landscape, relieve summer heat and provide shelter from the sun. The crowns of the cork oak tree offer nesting grounds for some endangered species of birds and are a haven for the Iberian lynx, which is also threatened with extinction.
There is enough cork in the forests of Portugal and Spain to last more than 100 years. The introduction of new products, such as composite corks, allows even better utilisation of existing cork resources, using granulated cork that can be obtained from smaller pieces of raw cork otherwise unusable in the production of conventional punched cork.
Cork is a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material that is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process.
Harvesting is done by hand and it's a skill that's been passed down through generations. Once a tree is stripped of its bark, it continues to live.
Now that we know more about these amazing trees don't you think we should appreciate and use them more?
We can help these forests thrive if we choose to use cork in our daily lives. This material is so very versatile and more and more uses of it are found every day.
And if demand grows big? Are these forests going to be endangered, some may ask...
The answer is simple - no. If demand grows, maybe more trees will be needed. And it seems we already have a shortage of trees on this planet, so it's a win-win situation.
Cork forests and their inhabitants will be endangered if we keep choosing man made materials over this natural alternative of which we have great reserves.
We would like to contribute to the preservation of cork forest and the artisan's crafts in the regions where these trees are thriving so we have partnered with CFCA - an amazing organisation that is on a similar mission.
Cork Forest Conservation Alliance offers a deeper insight into these trees, offers knowledge and raises awareness about all the benefits this amazing material has and why and how it is a very important resource.
You can learn more about their amazing work here and for more information how you can help and contribute please watch the video below.