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Impulse to buy local raw materials to improve the competitiveness of the Catalan cork sector

Funded by:
Aid to initiatives to strengthen competitiveness. ACTION Government of Catalonia. (2014-2015)

The main weak point of the Catalan cork cluster is the recession in the extraction of native cork. Although the special climatic conditions in Catalonia and the type of local cork determine one of the highest quality corks for the manufacture of caps, Catalonia produces less than 2% of the world's cork, and has a raw material generation potential much higher than the current exploitation. On the contrary, Catalonia transforms more than 10% of corks for still wines worldwide (being the second world region, behind Portugal, in the production of these types of corks), and around 60% of corks for sparkling wines (being a world leader), using cork from Extremadura, Andalusia or Portugal.

The purpose of the project 'Impulse to the purchase of proximity of raw material to improve the competitiveness of the Catalan cork sector' is to define the physicochemical characteristics of corks made from native cork and to evaluate their technical potential. The project will foster relationships between suppliers of Catalan cork and manufacturers who until now only used cork from outside Catalonia, thus allowing the entry of this product into new markets. Joint work between suppliers of raw material, producers of cork stoppers and the research center is essential to know the characteristics of this material and establish improvements in its processing to extract its full potential and enhance it.

It should be noted that cork represents between 60 and 70% of the cost of the final product and this makes the supply and price of the raw material highly strategic factors. For this reason, in addition to characterizing Catalan cork and defining and establishing the conditions that prepared cork must meet in order to be suitable for the cap-producing industries, among other objectives, the project seeks to increase the competitiveness of companies by providing -se of local cork (km 0), which contributes to the carbon footprint and conveys the image of sustainability.