Diam finances the largest planting programme of cork oaks ever rolled out in Provence

Friday December 04 2020 by Vitisphere

 Forest maintenance will cost an estimated 15,000 euros per hectare for the first five years. Forest maintenance will cost an estimated 15,000 euros per hectare for the first five years. - Photo credit : Diam

Home to France’s second most extensive woodland area, with 1.6 million hectares, Provence has prioritised the renewal of its forestry heritage. In a bid to combat fires and promote biodiversity, last year it launched the ‘1 million trees planted by 2021’ scheme.

This is undeniably a blessing for the world leader in technological cork stoppers, Diam, which has sought to revive the French cork industry since 2012 by buying cork in the Pyrénées-Orientales, Var, Corsica and Landes regions. In November, the company announced that it has teamed up with “the largest cork oak plantation ever created in Provence”.

The cork manufacturer has just provided 40% of the funding needed to plant 3,252 cork oaks from the Luberon nursery over 6.4 hectares of forest land located in Hyères, Vidauban, Ramatuelle and La Londe les Maures. The land belongs to members of the Suberaie Varoise independent forest management association (ASL), which groups together 300 land owners.

The cork manufacturer will only be able to use the cork in 50 years’ time. “It will be 25 to 30 years before the first layer of cork can be harvested, which will be unusable for the cork industry. Two additional harvests, 12 to 15 years apart will still be required to produce cork suitable for manufacturing closures”, says Fabien Nguyen, head of cork purchases.

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