Sainsbury’s – second biggest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom – recently announced that, from 2010, all cork stoppers used in their wines will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The announcement comes as a result of a partnership with Corticeira Amorim – Sainsbury’s exclusive cork supplier – and aims to preserve the cork oak forests, an ecosystem which provides valuable environmental services.
The first wine to be bottled with certified cork will be the Sainsbury’s winning Blanc du Noirs Champagne, sold at an average 10.000 bottles a week in the period prior to Christmas. The estimate is that until the end of 2010, the amount of wines bottled with FSC corks amounts to 6 million units, number which will turn Sainsbury’s into the biggest user of certified cork in the world.
According to Barry Dick, Sainsbury’s winemaker “the choice of the type of stopper we use is based on a series of factors, including quality, style and denomination of origin, which define which stopper adapts best to each wine. When we use cork, it is important to make sure that it has a positive contribution to biodiversity and, simultaneously, to the consistency and quality of our wines, so that these develop in their entire splendour.”
Luís Neves Silva, responsible for WWF Portugal, emphasizes the importance of the position taken by Sainsbury’s: “The cork oak forest in Portugal and the Mediterranean is a truly unique resource, with a fundamental role in the preservation of biodiversity. WWF publicly recognizes Sainsbury’s for the commitment to the use of FSC certified corks. Being one of the main wine markets in the world, this is a clear indication of the market tendency which the forest products should continue to follow.”
Source: Press Release Corticeira Amorim