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2023, the year that quantifies the value of the Catalan cork sector

2023 closes with a weighty figure for the Catalan cork sector: its global impact is 884 million euross, emphasizing that its environmental value triples its economic value. These are figures taken from the study "Socio-economic and environmental value of the Catalan cork industry"in the framework of the project"Study of the potential of the circular economy of the cork sector” which has been led by the Fundació Institut Català del Suro (ICSuro) and prepared by the MANGO chair of the Higher School of International Trade of the Pompeu Fabra University (ESCI-UPF) and which has had the collaboration with theAssociation of Catalan Sugar Entrepreneurs (AECORK).

It is one of the most outstanding milestones of the year, which allows the economic value of the activity of Catalan companies to be measured using the Integrated Social Value methodology and to calculate the carbon footprint of the sector to value the cork sector , which is the goal and success of the foundation.

Apart from this study, during 2023 the ICSuro foundation has been working to provide new knowledge about the cork material that can be beneficial for cork companies. At the forestry level, it has been a tough year following the drought, but efforts are being made to investigate how to sustainably manage the forest to minimize the negative effects of climate change while allocating resources to incentivize the profession of wood peeling Cork.

By the president of the Institut Català del Suro Foundation, Joan J. Puig, "this year we were able to quantify the socio-economic and ecological value of the Catalan cork sector, which is extraordinary and shows that cork is an essential sector. Likewise, the balance sheet figures left for us in 2023 certify the need for a Catalan Institute of Cork to exist, which does transversal work and which grows in each and every one of its areas of action, strengthening the commitment to research, the provision of services and the communication that takes place from the foundation".

Quality controls

From the balance sheet of the year, the following stand out 4,055 quality control analytics which have been carried out at the Cork Center Laboratory, and which have increased by 19% in relation to the figures of 2022.

Research & Development

The good trend is also reflected in the area of research, development and research, where five major projects have been closed and work is currently underway on nine more projects in the fields of forestry (2), viticulture (3) and new applications (4) in collaboration with 48 companies and research centers from 12 countries different. In terms of scientific publications, the ICSuro team has published five posters and three articles and is awaiting the publication of three more articles this 2024.

Training and communication

In 2023 a total of 511 people were trained on the cork material and its properties from an oenological or design perspective, providing face-to-face and online training in schools and university centers in oenology, sommelier or design. A vocation that responds to the foundation's commitment to make known the possibilities of cork everywhere in order to guarantee its use in the wine sector and facilitate the emergence of new initiatives with the material.

In this sense, last year 20 inquiries were received from companies, entrepreneurs or students seeking advice on developing products with cork, demonstrating the growing interest generated by this versatile material that is 100% natural and recyclable.

Finally, regarding social networks, has grown in all channels.