UK supermarket turns to sustainable cork

05 January, 2010

UK supermarket Sainsbury’s is to ensure all its cork closures are certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.

Sainsbury’s said it is committed to ensuring that all the cork it uses, comes from sustainable forests. According to Sainsbury’s, this will make them the largest user of FSC certified cork in the world.

One of the first wines to be bottled with the new cork will be Sainsbury’s Blanc du Noirs Champagne.

All FSC certified corks are stamped with the FSC logo so customers know that the cork comes from well-managed forests.

Sainsbury’s wine maker, Barry Dick, said: “The type of closure we use is based on a number of factors including quality, style and appellation laws which stipulate the stopper that best suits each individual wine. Where we use cork, it is important to us to make sure that the harvesting of that cork makes a positive contribution to the wildlife in the area, while at the same time managing traceability, consistency and quality to ensure our wines taste their best.

“Our shift to FSC certified corks will make a huge difference, particularly when you consider that we sell over 6m bottles sealed with cork closures every year. We’re aiming to bottle all 6m using FSC certified cork by the end of 2010, and we’re starting straight away by producing the first bottle at the end of January.”

Victor Ribeiro, stopper division CEO at Amorim – Sainsbury’s FSC certified cork supplier - said: “The UK wine trade makes a vital contribution to the maintenance of this unique triple bottom-line balance between environmental, social and economic issues. Because 70% of the value-added income created by natural cork comes from its wine and champagne stopper application, the kind of leadership demonstrated by Sainsbury’s goes a long way to help support a more sustainable trade.”

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