150 years of History

In the year in which we celebrate 150 years of history, we defined a set of thematics that we will highlight each month. In this section you can follow each topic and keep updated with the news that we will publish monthly related to the topics.

Life consists of cycles. As one cycle ends, another begins. The past becomes the future, and former achievements lead to renewal.

This year we are celebrating our 150th anniversary, and will return to where it all began - the cork oak forest (the montado) - where an incredible and majestic tree, capable of self-regeneration, in tune with nature, offers us inspiration and sets an example.

Like the cork oak tree itself, we have also grown deep roots and broad and generous branches. We reinvent ourselves every day, to go further and do more.

Cork is our world. It’s the passion that unites us, our driving force. It’s a unique, 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and reusable raw material, that we’re proud to understand like no one else.

Cyclically extracted from the cork oak tree, without ever felling it, cork has a combined set of characteristics that no technology has yet been able to match. The most quintessentially Portuguese material, it is also one of the world’s most versatile and sustainable raw materials. Used for thousands of years, cork successfully responds to contemporary challenges. With amazing and diverse applications, it has a vast potential.

Our time is now, and cork always has more to offer.

In nature, nothing is wasted. The cork oak forest, the origin of the cork cycle, inspires us to grow sustainably, following the principles of the circular economy, in harmony with nature, and respecting the environment and people.

The cork oak forest is a unique ecosystem, whose balance depends on the interaction between nature and people. It is one of the 36 global Biodiversity hotspots, and is home to over 200 animal species and 135 plant species in every km2. This extraordinary forest regulates the soil’s hydrological cycle, acts as a fire barrier, prevents soil degradation, benefits productivity and creates employment, progress and wealth throughout the Western Mediterranean Basin. It also plays a vital role in the retention of greenhouse gases: for every ton of cork produced, the cork oak forest retains up to 73 tons of CO2.

A history that consists of challenges, surpassing limits, commitments and conquests and is above all a history of people. Those who launch new endeavours and join forces. Those who seek and discover. Those who question, and never stop believing.

These combined talents have spawned a world-class project. A global community, united by the same goal and a common passion: cork.

A small family business, based on producing cork stoppers, founded in 1870, in Vila Nova de Gaia, has evolved into the world's largest cork products company and Portugal’s most international company, the clear sector leader in 2020. Over the past 150 years, the world has changed, and the Group has experienced an evolution that few would have imagined to be possible.

From the very beginning, and throughout our entire 150-year history, we have always upheld certain values: above all our entrepreneurial spirit, vision and audacity. We are pioneers, we open new paths, we work hard. We bring together different fields of knowledge and desires.

Over the past 150 years we have made countless friends, and unconditional enthusiasts who form an integral part of cork's global and ongoing renaissance.

Curiosity is in our nature. To be alive is to question, challenge and imagine. To grow is to question oneself. To discover.

We have invested heavily in R&D and innovation, in order to expand our understanding of cork and develop new applications for a versatile raw material that can be applied in sectors as diverse as wine and spirits, sustainable construction, the aerospace industry, transport, design and sports. The journey has been exciting, challenging and transformative. Through innovation, we accomplish our goals. We ensure that the world is talking about cork and to bring new worlds to cork.

We have a hands-on approach in everything we do. Aware that we are fulfilling our ambition, due to everyone's input and energy.

Leadership is based on setting examples. To grow responsibly and sustainably. That's why we reciprocate. We return to the place where we bring together multiple voices. To the community, that gives meaning to what we do.

We are a large family. Four generations who have taken the helm at an international business, which projects the name of Portugal in the world. Today we are a family of over 4,000 people across five continents, driven by a common passion.

A family is an inexplicable bond. It is a strong trunk with numerous branches. It is a goal that binds people together and transcends differences. A closeness made of dreams and shared goals that continually moves us forward.

We sow to reap. Nature is our first master and shows us how important it is to nurture, respect and learn how to wait. Knowledge only has value if it is shared. We therefore invest in environmental education, develop partnerships and foster initiatives to expand scientific knowledge, and the virtualities and unique applications of cork, to create the foundations of the future that we dream of.

Cork guards many treasures, of which wine is perhaps one of the most precious. It’s an ancestral bond, based on an unbreakable mutual understanding. The same connection to nature, earth and time. The same organic character, and a rich and long history, relived with emotion every time that a bottle is opened.

Each cork stopper has 800 million cells and each cell interacts with wine so that it can evolve and shine, revealing all its qualities. This is a question of science, and also magic.

If you believe you can succeed, you’re already half way there. Throughout our history, we have been guided by the conviction that it’s a privilege to work with a material as noble and unique as cork. But it’s not enough to believe. One has to act. Therefore, just as we are inseparable from cork, we are determined to uphold the values we believe in every day. We are simplicity. Longevity. Ambition, discretion and attitude. We are passion.

We are deeply proud to be celebrating our 150th anniversary. To pay tribute to our roots and pioneering attitude, based on unyielding pragmatism. To the way that we have faced challenges and reinvented ourselves, while still believing in the raw material that after 150 years we find to be just as inspiring and exciting as ever: cork.

Based on this legacy we can only look in one direction: the future. This is a responsibility and a privilege, because we know that it only depends on what we are able to do. Knowing cork as well as we do, we believe that the best is yet to come.

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