Restoring and adding value to an abandoned cork plantation

A cork producing business confronted high production costs due to increasing cost of raw materials. To tackle this the company used EAFRD support to restore its own forest and improve its productivity.

Project summary: 

Italy is one of the countries that lead the world cork production. It is also third in quantity of cork processed, after Spain and France. In order to maintain these high volumes of production big quantities of raw materials are imported. The company Molinas Peppino&sons, which is the biggest in its area, was facing increasing production costs due to high prices of imported raw materials combined with the period of economic crisis. 

The company owned a  127 ha forest area which was abandoned. In addition the trees were facing health problems that needed to be solved quickly before spreading to other areas used for forestry. Activities carried out included clearing cuttings around the cork trees, reducing the risk of fire and improving access to the trees. Young cork-oak trees were trimmed to facilitate their right development and to improve their future production. The first decortications on trees 1.30 m tall were performed to improve cork production. The road network was restored throughout the entire area. Good road conditions were important to ensure the effective forest management by enabling accessibility for work but also in case of fire risk. 

 

Project results: 

The 127 ha forestry area was returned into good condition.

Its economic value increased since all cork-oaks are now productive, including the young trees.

The forest became accessible and fire risk has been reduced. 

During the implementation of the project 45 people were employed.