Corticeira Amorim partners with Grandesign to make sustainable cork extractor

12 June 2024 10:14

AICEP Portugal

Mozelos/Marinha Grande - Corticeira Amorim, the world’s largest cork processor and one of the largest companies in Portugal, has partnered with Portuguese product engineering firm Grandesign, a subsidiary of plastic manufacturer Vangest, to make a new power tool to improve cork harvesting.

Cork harvesting is one of Portugal’s most iconic industries. Now it is becoming more sustainable thanks to a partnership between cork processor Corticeira Amorim from Mozelos and Grandesign, a subsidiary of plastic manufacturer Vangest based in Marinha Grande.

As a Vangest case study detailed, cork harvesters traditionally use axes to separate cork from cork oak trees. But they must not harm the trunk in the process or else they might damage the tree, ruining the source of more cork in the future.

To address this issue, the partnership created an innovative handheld power tool to replace the axes, streamline cork extraction, and protect trees. The saw-like device runs on a battery pack, features sturdy components, and ensures that cork harvesting won’t affect anything beyond the cork lining around the trunk. Importantly, the lightweight and user-friendly device is suitable for less experienced workers.

“By aligning our knowledge, expertise, and production capabilities in one place, we've not only accelerated our time to market but also ensured high-quality, impactful solutions,” wrote Sergio Martins, solution alchemist at Grandesign, on LinkedIn.

“[Corticeira] Amorim’s responsible approach to raw materials and sustainable production illustrates the remarkable interdependence between industry and the vital cork ecosystem - one of the world’s most balanced examples of social, economic, and environmental development,” said the company’s LinkedIn page. ce/jd