our philosophy starts
with respecting the land.
preserving cork oak forests
is protecting a unique habitat
For more than three hundred years, since Dom Pérignon, in Hautvillers Abbey, systemised the production of champagne and recommended it should be closed with cork, the management of cork oak forests has been one of the best examples of interaction between man and nature. In addition to being a driving force behind creating work for thousands of people, cork oak forests are one of the ecosystems with the greatest value from the point of view of the biodiversity of the region, and are home to some of the most highly threatened animal species in the Mediterranean ecosystems. Preserving cork oak forests also means perpetuating a profitable, sustainable exploitation method and protecting a unique habitat with an extraordinary ecological value.
Near cork oaks, we can still hope to see specimens of species at great risk of extinction such as red deer or Iberian lynx. The cork oak forest is also the ultimate refuge for animals that it is getting harder to find in the Mediterranean, such as the Spanish imperial eagle, the chameleon or the genet. All kinds of birds of prey have the basis of their survival in these forests and millions of migratory birds find our cork oak forests the ideal place in which to pass the winter.
Trefinos is part of the WWF’s Red Ibérica de Comercio Forestal(Iberian Forest and Trade Network). This network, made up of some 20 companies from Spain and Portugal, aims to combine rural economy and ecology through the responsible and preferential consumption of forest products. Through this initiative, Trefinos promotes the responsible forest management of cork oak forests using FSC® certified cork in its production processes. Trefinos' commitment to sustainability is clearly reflected in its commitments to the FSC® stamp. This stamp provides the market with the maximum guarantee that the cork that is used has been extracted in a responsible way without placing the future of our forests in danger.
cork extraction, a process
that is 100% respectful
The first cork that the tree forms is called virgin cork. It is stripped off when the tree is 35 years old and can only be used for agglomerates.
12 years after having stripped off the virgin cork, the second stripping can be carried out and 12 years later, reproduction cork is obtained, which is suitable for being used to produce cork stoppers. Cork oaks can live up to 300 years.
The extraction of cork, along with the rest of the activities that take place in and around cork oak forests, such as stock breeding, have helped to preserve traditional customs and trades in these societies. The survival of these cultures depends on the correct management of the activity around the cork, at the same time as maintaining the ecosystem in an excellent state of preservation.
Impermeable to liquids and gases, a good thermal and acoustic insulator, elastic, compressible, highly resistant and guaranteeing excellent sealing properties to protect wine from oxidising, but at the same time guaranteeing correct transfer of oxygen to allow the wine to mature suitably, cork has been a highly appreciated material since the beginning of civilisation.
Cork is the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber), a tree that grows spontaneously in the western Mediterranean. There are more than two million hectares of cork oak forests in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Cork oaks grow well in not very high areas (500 to 600 meters maximum) with moderate rainfall and, ideally, a minimum of one dry month during the year. They need soil without lime that is not very compact to facilitate oxygenation.
A cork oak forest is a mixture of diverse plants and types of soil in which one finds a great variety of flora and fauna and which has many other functions, such as agriculture or hunting. Cork oak forests act as a refuge for some of the most highly threatened plant and animal species on the Iberian Peninsula and throughout the Mediterranean. Up to 135 plant species have been found in an area of cork oak forest equivalent to the fifth part of a football field.
At Trefinos, our mission is one of responsibility to protecting these forests as they develop a great function from the environmental point of view, favouring the fixation of the soil and protecting it from the dangers of erosion or desertification, contributing to regulating the hydrological cycle by supplying water to natural aquifers, preventing climate change and representing a habitat for wildlife.
We should not forget their role as a natural protector that mitigates the effects of forest fires, a phenomenon that critically reduces the forest mass in the Mediterranean regions every year.
sustainable development requires global strategies and efficient policies
Trefinos makes a clear gesture of environmental respect with its philosophy based on the ecological management of resources. Efficient energy use, not just of traditional sources of energy but also of renewable ones, is increasingly more essential and not just because of the economic saving it offers.
At the same time, ecological criteria are used when establishing production processes: responsible waste management, minimisation of environmental impact, use of recycled and recyclable materials, etc.
Our objective is to achieve zero waste as part of the company's environmental policy, translated into the management of our productive process for this purpose through the reuse or sale of waste generated during the process, mainly in the form of cork dust.
technology on its own
is not sufficient: one also needs to put one's heart
The climate change, caused by the emission of greenhouse effect gases, is one of the factors that is placing the survival of the planet in danger. It is clear that most global warming comes from human activities: transport, industrial activity, life at home and so on. Everything involves consuming energy and, therefore, contributes to the emissions into the atmosphere.
Trefinos hopes to contribute to the fight for sustainability through actions aimed at measuring its carbon footprint to identify the sources of emission of greenhouse effect gases in its production processes and to thus define better objectives, to adopt more efficient policies to reduce emissions and to take energy-saving initiatives.
We should also take into account the fact that cork forests, the source of the raw material for our activity, are extraordinary capturers of CO2 due to the special characteristics of the bark. Rational exploitation, with the consequent renewal of the cork that it represents, emphasises this virtue even more. A cork oak which periodically has its bark removed produces up to five times more cork than an untreated specimen, meaning that its potential as a carbon dioxide fixer multiplies.