WWF /GFTN Iberia: First Business Trip in Portugal Showed Importance of Cork Certification | WWF
WWF /GFTN Iberia: First Business Trip in Portugal Showed Importance of Cork Certification

Posted on 25 May 2009

Lisbon, Portugal – The GFTN-Iberia first Business Trip, dedicated to FSC cork and organized by WWF in Portugal, ended last week in Oporto after two days of visits: a first day devoted to the sector of cork production, where it was possible to see in loco the harvesting of FSC cork in Herdade dos Fidalgos (2204 ha FSC certified), Coruche region; and a second day devoted to the cork industry, with visits to the GFTN-Iberia members’ factories - Cork Supply (natural cork stoppers) and Amorim Revestimentos (cork flooring), both located in Saint Maria da Feira (Oporto).
Lisbon, Portugal – The GFTN-Iberia first Business Trip, dedicated to FSC cork and organized by WWF in Portugal, ended last week in Oporto after two days of visits: a first day devoted to the sector of cork production, where it was possible to see in loco the harvesting of FSC cork in Herdade dos Fidalgos (2204 ha FSC certified), Coruche region; and a second day devoted to the cork industry, with visits to the GFTN-Iberia members’ factories - Cork Supply (natural cork stoppers) and Amorim Revestimentos (cork flooring), both located in Saint Maria da Feira (Oporto).

In the first day of the business trip, the participants (Portuguese, Spanish and Italian organizations) visited Herdade dos Fidalgos, in Coruche, certified by the FSC since April 2008, in the context of the FSC group certification, an innovative process that aims to apply FSC principles to cork forest areas led by the APFC (Association of Forest Producers of Coruche).
 
António Gonçalves Ferreira, from APFC and director of UNAC (the Portuguese federation of cork producers), said that “the FSC certification is a process that the market demands and to which we have been able to respond. We have at the moment around 20.000 ha of certificated cork forests and we intend to increase this area, with other associations that applied to the FSC certification, until we reach the challenge that WWF launched us: 150 000 ha of FSC certificate cork forests in three years”.
 
The second day of the visit was dedicated to the cork  industry with visits to the factories of the Cork Supply Portugal (natural cork stoppers) and Amorim Revestimentos (cork flooring), in Saint Maria da Feira – both members of the GFTN Iberia.
 
Isabel Allegro, general-director of Cork Supply Portugal, said that the participation of Cork Supply Portugal in this network is a way of “leaving to our future generations a better world, less polluted and more green. We have therefore an important role since we devote ourselves to the production of cork stoppers, therefore with a natural origin. By being able to close the bottles with a natural product certified by the FSC – that gives us a guarantee that the raw material comes from sustainable forests – we are taking a very important step, in particularly for Cork supply where the environment subject is a very relevant subject”.
 
Also for Carlos de Jesus, of Amorim Group, leader on the production and exportation of cork products, this synergy between FSC certification and GFTN Iberia is clear. “What GFTN Iberia allows us is to spread to international markets the message that cork represents not only a product, but an example of sustainable development; FSC is a competitive advantage for the cork and for the partners of this Network, so we show the market, very clear, that we believe in the FSC”.
 
In the commercial visit participated, between others, representatives of the Deputación of Toledo (Spain) and of Leroy Merlin Spain. For Enrique García, of the Deputación of Toledo this was an interesting visit “because it was possible to saw the example of a responsible forest management in an ecosystem in everything similar to the one that we have in the centre of Spain, especially in the province of Toledo. And it was positive to see how this forest management connects with the industry and provides us the access to a certified product, which assures to the consumer he is choosing a product that comes from a forest and an industry that is sustainable and respects the environment and the Planet”.
 
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Notes to the Editors
- In Portugal there are now 20,642 hectares of FSC’s certified cork forests, the double of 2008, contributing to this increase there are the recent certifications by associations ACHAR (2.361ha), AFLOSOR (5.356ha) that join the areas of Fruticor of the APFC and Silvicaima;
- Every time an hectare of cork forest is certified, we launch in the market between 50 000 to 70 000 FSC cork stoppers. Every time someone chooses a stopper produced from certified cork, he is contributing to the conservation of the cork oak landscapes, which represents 736.700 hectares of the Portuguese territory and that has an unique economic, environmental and social value;
- The cork is still the basis of the economy of cork oak forests: annually, in Portugal, we extract around 157 thousand tons of cork, which corresponds to 52,5 % of the world-wide production of the sector. Most of the cork transformed in Portugal – 68 % in the production of cork toppers – is exported (90 %), representing 2,3 % of the annual exports of the country. The Portuguese Industry of Cork includes 800 transformation plants that are responsible for the production of 40 million cork products in a daily basis. We count 12 to 14 thousand direct employees, 6500 of those in the forest extraction, and thousands of indirect employees (restoration, tourism, etc.).
 
WWF GFTN IBERIA:
 
The companies that integrate WWF GFTN Iberia are 17: 5 are Portuguese companies – AmBioDiv, Amorim Revestimentos, Cork Supply, Leroy Merlin Portugal and Listor. Cimenteira Lafarge and Coke Spain are members of the Spanish group. These enterprises share with WWF the objectives of contributing to the responsible management of the forests, through the responsible consumption of forest products.
 
The companies that integrate the GFTN Iberia aim to develop and to implement a Program of Responsible Consumption of Forest Products that increases progressively the supply of products certified by certification systems like the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), the very guarantee of its legal origin and sustainabilty management.
 
The WWF GFTN Iberia is the group of Spain and Portugal of the Global WWF Forest Trade Network (GFTN) that is present in more than 30 countries to promote the certification of the forest through practices of responsible consumption. In this initiative 300 enterprises participate worldwide.
 
 
For further information on GFTN-Iberia:
www.wwf.pt - iberia@wwfmedpo.org ; http://gftn.panda.org/iberia
 
About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
 
Lisbon, Portugal – The GFTN-Iberia first Business Trip, dedicated to FSC cork and organized by WWF in Portugal, ended last week in Oporto after two days of visits: a first day devoted to the sector of cork production, where it was possible to see in loco the harvesting of FSC cork in Herdade dos Fidalgos (2204 ha FSC certified), Coruche region; and a second day devoted to the cork industry, with visits to the GFTN-Iberia members’ factories - Cork Supply (natural cork stoppers) and Amorim Revestimentos (cork flooring), both located in Saint Maria da Feira (Oporto).
Harvesting of FSC cork in Herdade dos Fidalgos
© GFTN-Iberia
Harvesting of FSC cork in Herdade dos Fidalgos
© GFTN-Iberia
1st Business Trip
© GFTN-Iberia