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Project Context

For centuries cork-oak forests have helped nature and the rural world to live in harmony, forming a balance uniquely based in part on the economic benefit that wine bottle stoppers bring to forest landowners.
This balance is now in danger as the cork culture is threatened by substitute products which day-by-day are increasingly present in the bottle sealing sector.
The lack of buyers for cork has reduced the value of the forests and places their long-term survival in a precarious position. Without an outlet its value will end-up by disappearing.
Cork is in fact a noble material with multiple virtues and its traditional use is truly compatible with the protection of the environment. Therefore, if cork production is no longer profitable, cork-oaks will be quickly replaced by other more intensive cultures such as Eucalyptus used for paper pulp.

It is thanks to the exploitation of cork and the use of its acorns that these trees remain present in large numbers. The vast expanses they occupy are today still very rich at the landscape level as well as at the level of fauna and flora. They also protect soils from erosion. It must also be stated that well managed cork exploitation is not in any way detrimental to the tree’s growth. This extensive culture will only subsist, however, if it is economically profitable. The true danger is that cork-oaks will be gradually replaced by other more profitable trees.
To conclude, it is important to recommend to the wine sector to remain faithful to traditional cork stoppers which are key to the preservation of cork-oaks in the Mediterranean landscape.