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Granorte celebrates 50 years of ‘cork innovation’

CORK innovator Granorte is celebrating 50 years since its foundation by the Rocha family.
In 1955, Francisco Rocha started a cork stopper production company and by the ‘70s the business reportedly grew into one of Portugal’s major cork stopper producers with five factories.

However, this drew the family’s attention to the growing amount of cork waste from production and one of Francisco’s sons, Jose decided something must be done to create value from it.

So, in 1972 Granorte was established with the aim of finding ways to recycle and repurpose waste cork from wine stoppers into new products. Since the beginning, the company has focused on research and development and in the past 50 years the family-run business has, the company says, established itself as one of the most innovative cork companies in the world. ‘Counting award-winning furniture, floors, walls, and insulation among its product portfolio, Granorte exports 90% of its products to more than 50 countries.’

The company continues: ‘Processing 6,600 tonnes per year of cork waste – impressive quantities given the material’s light weight nature – at three production sites totalling 48,000sq m and with a turnover in excess of €22m, the company is a leading recycler of cork, finding new life for this natural, renewable, and sustainably managed raw material.

‘Today, Granorte’s range is focused on flooring with a wide range of constructions designed for residential and commercial use. From mono-material cork tiles to hybrid products that combine the acoustic, thermal and comfort benefits of cork with innovations such as click-fitting; the collection is one of the biggest currently available and includes many first to market products.’

Paulo Rocha of Granorte says: ‘We’re hugely proud of our history and our 50th anniversary is testament to the extraordinary efforts of all our colleagues over the last five decades. Since our foundation, we’ve invested heavily in technology, focused on innovation and new ways of harnessing cork’s properties, and have worked with leading producers that share our philosophy to enhance the performance of our products. The result is a collection of floors, walls, furniture, sanitary ware, and other decorative objects that honour cork as a natural material with a unique aesthetic.

‘Cork has come a long way since our foundation in 1972 and we’re confident the next 50 years will also hold developments that lead to new applications for the material. With cork’s relevance in a market where the sustainability of products is of growing importance, we’re excited about the future and introducing the benefits of this wonder of nature to new generations.’
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