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Cork and its potential in education

The Fundació Institut Català del Suro works to be a benchmark in conducting courses and studies on the world of cork, from the forest side to the participation of the cork in the evolution of wine. We consider that talking about cork is also talking about sustainability, economy, chemistry or recycling, and that it is necessary to do pedagogy to make known this material, its properties and its potential.

With this commitment, from the Institut Català del Suro Foundation we bet on education as a vehicular tool for our work and we offer from the beginning guided tours of our facilities for schools and institutes, which in the last months of the pandemic have turned into webinars and virtual activities. We also regularly receive students on internships who are interested in training in this subject.

As a quality research center that we are, our philosophy is to share information and knowledge with all those students, entrepreneurs or researchers who have concerns about this material and to spread the word about their projects or initiatives linked to the Catalan cork sector. In this sense, the last months we advised the student of the University of Barcelona Enric Farrés for his final thesis for the Degree in Geography, entitled: "The corks and the use of cork in Catalonia. The Catalan cork industry". This research project, published last May 2020, analyzes the cork sector in Catalonia and, based on the conclusions, proposes several actions to increase the use of Catalan corks, among which stand out:

– Integration of new forest owners into existing associations so as to increase the number of farms with sustainable forest management plans and FSC or PEFC certification. These certificates guarantee consumers that they are buying sustainably managed forest products, thus contributing to the maintenance of numerous ecosystems, biological diversity, providing economic support to many rural populations and enabling the existence of an important processing industry.

– Integrate new producers and processors into the "Farm Caps" project and create new similar projects that make use of the confluence of local cork and the vineyard protected by the DOs.

- Increase aid for pilgrimage (first cork extraction) to achieve an increase in the hectares put into production and to add new surfaces.

"The corks and the use of cork in Catalonia. The Catalan cork industry" also highlights the efforts of projects such as GO SUBER or GO BIOCORK, which work to mechanize cork peeling and increase biorational control of cork respectively, and which provide tools to promote forest conservation cork Catalans and the maintenance of a profitable economic activity that would benefit forest owners, forest work companies and auctioneers.