Cork is the bark extracted from the cork oak tree (Quercus Suber L. or "sobreiro" in Portuguese). This very peculiar tree forms a thick, rugged bark that develop considerable thickness and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years.
Once the bark is stripped, the tree not only survives but reacts starting to generate another bark, thus creating a new layer of cork that will grow and will be harvested on due time, making it a 100% renewable resource.
The harvesting of the cork oak tree is made by highly skilled workers without harming the tree, a very valuable asset and a legally protected species in Portugal.
The cork oak tree is a native species of the medierranean basin. One third of the world’s cork oak forests are in Portugal and that is why this Country is the world's larger producer of cork. Portugal produces approximately 52% of all cork produced annually worldwide.
The cork oak forests sustain biodiversity, traditional occupations and economic development. At the same time, the forests contribute to the ecological processes of water retention, soil conservation and carbon storage.
For more information about cork and environment, biodiversity or CO2 fixing as well as many other information, click here.