Ever heard of rumors like cork in endangered, cork is in crisis and much more like that??
But actually, are we running out of cork oak?? NO WAY!
There's an abundance of the totally sustainable, vegan and eco-friendly material in the rural southern region of Portugal (most of the world's cork oak trees are grown here). So supposed shortage of the cork supply is indeed a myth.
Cork industry employs more than 30,000 workers in varied jobs. They confirm that there are plenty of cork oak trees to be found in the ethically and environmentally harvested cork forests of Portugal. Regular planting ensures a continuous and steady supply without harming the tree, but the process requires some patience.
- One Cork oak tree takes more than 25 years of growth before it’s bark can first be harvested.
- Farmers then must wait another 9-10 years until the trees fully recover and are ready to have their outer bark layer harvested again.
- This approach yields a high-quality raw material, while enabling the trees to live healthy for more than 300 years.
Introspecting the cause of rumor, we figured that:
Wine industry began switching from traditional cork stoppers to plastic corks and screw caps in the 1990s to cut costs.
In 1923, the Portuguese government passed a law to protect the cork tree from improper or out-of-season harvest. Officials were worried that developers would clear out the cork forests to build.
So, there's clearly an abundance of cork and cork oak trees. Cork has endless possibilities and the abundance has opened up a world of opportunities.