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Global and integrated management

The global and integrated management of the value chain begins in the Raw Materials Business Unit (BU) which extends across the company. This BU, which was created at the end of 2002, is essential to enhance synergies between the various units, as well as to ensure the optimisation of the flow of raw materials.

"Over the last few years, this BU has adopted a policy of diversification of the sources of supply, in order to undertake proactive intervention in all the cork-producing regions. For this purpose, in addition to Portugal, its action is focused on Spain, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Sardinia."

By means of this strategy, the business unit is developing and fostering cork extraction in high-potential countries and regions, while guaranteeing a swift response to future possible increases in consumption of the raw material.

Although Corticeira Amorim is not a forest owner, it has a very close relationship with cork producers, only purchasing raw materials from producers who comply with the CE Liège Code of Cork Stopper Manufacturing Practice. It is the responsibility of the Raw Materials BU to prepare, study and decide the company's multi-annual supply policy.

In a business activity that is perceived as being eminently traditional, one of the core strategic dimensions and key competitiveness factor for the business unit is to foster constant innovation of processes.

With the ongoing objective of quality, the Raw Materials BU takes on other important missions, such as promoting forest certification with producers, including FSC certification - this BU was one of the first to be given this prestigious accreditation.

As the industry leader, Corticeira Amorim recognises its decisive role in enhancing the montado (cork oak forest) and implementing best management practices. To increase our knowledge about the montado and increase the quality and quantity of cork necessary for the sustainability of its business, Corticeira Amorim has implemented an ambitious Forestry Intervention Project (FIP) since 2013.

Developed in partnership with forestry producers, prestigious national and international academic and scientific institutions and local authorities, the FIP’s core goal is to seek responses and solutions to the main challenges facing the cork oak forest.

These challenges include the success rate of new plantations, densification of existing plantations and combat against pests and diseases.

The Forestry Intervention Project therefore encompasses 4 main action lines, all with projects currently underway:

1) implementation of cork oak plantations with improved irrigation installations, which will make it possible to increase the density of existing plantations and shorten the time before the first cycle of cork extraction.
2) cork oak genome sequencing
3) improvement of cork oak trees, by creating plantations with selected trees
4) combating the flathead oak borer, one of the primary pests of cork oak forests.

The business unit’s strong commitment to research, which is transversal to the entire company, has delivered significant results through continuous improvement of all processes - from the montado to the end product.