Portugal was the partner country at HANNOVER MESSE 2022 and took advantage of this high-profile opportunity to highlight its commitment to green energy and environmental sustainability. Under the slogan “Portugal Makes Sense”, AICEP, the coordinator of Portugal’s participation in the fair, invested in sustainable merchandising that included the offer of cork string bags manufactured by the Portuguese company Têxteis Penedo.
Cork is a raw material extracted from cork oaks, a 100% natural and reusable product, characterised by its versatility, flexibility and sustainability, as well as being an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator.
Portugal is currently the world’s largest producer of cork, representing 50% of world production and over 60% of export volume. Cork is one of the greatest assets of Portuguese agriculture and industry, asserting itself as a competitive advantage in innovation and market differentiation.
According to the “Annual Report on the Characterisation of the Economic and Financial Situation of Companies in the Cork Sector”, a study by the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR), in collaboration with Deloitte Corporate Finance, the cork sector in Portugal shows a growth trend in activity and value.
In 2021, Portuguese cork exports reached a record value of €1,133 million, with the wine industry being the sector’s main customer with cork stoppers exceeding €800 million in exports, according to APCOR. In addition to the wine sector, cork is widely used in the automotive, decoration, construction and building materials sectors.
The Portuguese Cork Association aims to reach 1,500 million euros in exports by 2030, highlighting cork as “a natural, versatile and environmentally-friendly material, which provides a perfect response to the paradigm of sustainability, in environmental, social and economic terms”.
Around 34% of the world’s cork oak forests are concentrated in Portugal, corresponding to about 736 thousand hectares. The largest cork oak forest in the country is in the Alentejo region.
France and the United States are the main destination markets for Portuguese exports, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Mexico, China, and Chile.