From the blog

The Cork Tree

a harvested cork tree

By Jens Heijkoop.

So much more then a wine bottle stopper

MANA is set on the border with the Alentejo. A region very well known for its cork production. Therefore while wondering off on our land you will come across loads of cork trees each with different numbers on it representing the year it was harvest. What is commonly known as cork oak or cork tree, the sobreiro as the Portuguese call it, can live up to 200 years and an average cork tree produces one tonne of raw cork which is equal to 65,000 wine bottle stoppers. The harvesting of the cork (cortiça) happens every 9 to 12 years with the first cut happening when the tree is around 25 years old.

“Cork trees absorb 14 million tons of carbon every year therefore Portugal is also known as the lungs of Europe “

cork bark piled up on each other

With an estimated 50% of the world’s cork production is in Portugal, representing 736,000 hectares of a total of 2,139,942 hectares in the world it is clear to say Portugals contribution to our global CO2 problem is enormous. Harvesting cork bark assists in the absorption of CO2. In fact, harvested cork trees absorb 3-5 times more CO2 than non-harvested trees. So Cork oak trees in Portugal alone help offset 14 million tons of carbon every year. These so called CO2 sponges also caught the interest of the Dutch Product Designer Ruud van den Heijkant who now successfully runs the company ”Qurkies”. An Eco-Friendly approach to children toys like Duplo®. With cork products becoming more popular and widely used, you now find products such as caps, wallets, couches, beds and even umbrellas. With this in mind remember on your next visit here at MANA, this is so much more that just a pretty tree with a number on it!

“Qurkies are Eco-friendly toys made of cork”

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