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Cork industry gears up for €20m campaign

The cork industry is preparing a €20m advertising campaign using cork’s ‘scientific background’ to convince the public of its benefits.

From April 2010 to June 2011 the Portugese, via Apcor, the Portugese Cork Association, will run promotions via TV, radio, press, wine fairs and the web.

’We want to convince the public with the help of the scientific background’, Jean-Marie Aracil, the French spokesman for the campaign said.

Apcor will also launch a recycling programme for cork stoppers through partnerships with restaurants, supermarkets, storage facilities and recycling plants.

Twelve million euros have been earmarked for the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. Each country will run its own campaign, with the common message that cork is a traditional but innovative and sustainable industry.

The €12m devoted to cork stoppers is part of a global campaign of €20m, financed by the Portugese government.

The other €8m will be dedicated to promoting cork’s usefulness to the construction and aeronautics industries.

Cork has dozens of applications, including flooring, design, footwear, in the automotive industry, the military and pharmaceuticals.

It is lightweight and naturally fire-retardant, making it attractive to aircraft manufacturers.

Reuters reports that French company DynAero, which has a factory in the Alentejo in central Portugal, hopes to develop two- and four-seat planes using cork as a substitute for other composite materials in aircraft wings.

As far as bottle closures are concerned, while alternative closures such as screwcap are growing, cork is losing market share.

The cork industry grossed €2.09bn in 2007/8, of which cork closures represented more than €1.7bn, or 80%.

In 2009 there were 3.1bn screwcaps sold worldwide, a total which is increasing by 500m a year.

The market share for cork closures has gone down from over 90% in the early 1990s to around 75% today. In 2009, 11.3bn units were sold, against 11.7bn in 2008, a decrease of 3.5%.

photo: Apcor

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Written by Mathilde Hulot

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