Cork

In a context of increasing concern for the environment, it is important to stress that cork remains the only tree whose bark can regenerate itself after each harvest - leaving the tree unharmed. A typical tree produces several hundred kilograms of cork at each harvesting and will survive for many generations. Stripped off in sections from 2/3 of the tree, the bark grows back completely, taking on a smoother texture after each harvest. A cork oak tree can be safely harvested up to 20 times during its life cycle.

After being stripped, the bark is left in the forest for some days to dry. The preparation of cork for industrial use starts with a boiling operation. This time, in a factory area, the cork is boiled to make it easier to remove the woody outer layer and to make the bark more elastic so that it can be flattened out more easily. The cork is then sorted into various thicknesses, which are, in turn, sorted into different qualities. These different qualities determine the suitability of the cork for different manufacturing uses.

Portugal, which produces more than 50% of the world's cork, has been particularly careful to safeguard this valuable resource. New plantations of cork oak trees are planted each year to ensure the level of cork production is maintained. Cork oak trees cannot be felled or removed without government authorization, which is rarely granted.

The regular extraction of cork is a fundamental contribution for the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the rural areas where the cork oak may be found. Its value is based not only on the products extracted from the tree but on all the agricultural, forest and hunting activities that revolve around the cultivation of the cork oak. It is the basis of an ecosystem unique in the world, where abundant fauna and flora coexist with animal and cereal farming. From a social perspective, this activity allows for the creation and maintenance of a significant volume of employment in rural areas, thus combating social desertification. On a par with the consistent investment in innovation and technologic development, AMORIM actively values its Human Resources, while nurturing the ecosystem it is based upon, in what can be considered a thoroughly sustainable industry.