David Bellm

January 30, 2014

2 Min Read
Cork harvest yields smaller but higher quality crop

With a combined Portuguese and Spanish harvest of 220,000metric tons, the recently completed 2009 global cork harvest shrunkapproximately 10 percent behind 2008's production, according to JochenMichalski, president of Cork Supply, a leading global supplier of premiumnatural cork wine stoppers.


"Despite the drop in the total harvest, the amount of corkgraded as ‘premium' was equivalent to the 2008 harvest," says Michalski."Although we enjoyed an even distribution of rain throughout the season,temperatures were high, prompting growers to hold back some forests to allowtheir trees another year or two of growth. This should result in a greaterharvest of the high quality wood required for wine corks in the coming years."


According to Frederico Mayer, director of Cork Supply's rawmaterial department, the 2009 harvest has added significance for Cork Supply."This harvest completes the first nine-year cycle of our unique forestmanagement system for sampling and purchasing cork lots from carefully selectedcork forests," he said. Mayer added, "Since we created this innovative forestryquality assurance program in 2000, it has provided an invaluable cork forestdatabase enabling us to better predict the future and make purchasing decisionsthat yield the best quality and quantity of punchable cork wood."  


Corkforests provide sustainable habitat for wildlife biodiversity, reduce carbonfrom the atmosphere, act as a barrier against desertification, and sustain thelivelihood and culture of indigenous communities. Recognized worldwide byenvironmental and governmental organizations as playing a vital social, economicand environmental role, cork forests are protected by the Portuguesegovernment, and their expansion is supported by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)preservation programs.  


"In addition to cork already being the wine closure with thelowest carbon footprint - and the only one that's 100 percent natural,renewable, biodegradable and recyclable - more cork forest owners areundergoing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification," said Mayer. "Asmore and more wineries improve the sustainability of their wine brands, theglobal demand for certified cork is growing, and certified cork forests areincreasing by 15 percent annually."  



SOURCE: Cork Supply Group

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