Corkart exports 100% of what it produces
The president of COMPETE 2020 further revealed that “this is a modern company that actively seeks markets for its products, in a very difficult and competitive context, where others offer products that are functionally similar. This implies a constant effort to differentiate products in order to guarantee a perennial presence in demanding markets, thus enabling for the attainment of sustainable growth.”
Brief history of the company
Corkart – Indústria de Cortiças S.A. was created in 1997, initially with the objective of producing cork floors, with differentiated characteristics in relation to what the flooring market offered. Subsequently they advanced to the production of cork insulation materials.
In 2004 they began producing linoleum floor coverings. In 2007 they began the production of floor coverings in recycled PVC. These products are always used in combination with cork. Corkart is a 100% exporting company.
“COMPETE 2020: close to those that create value”
“The cork sector is globally dynamic, characterized by the entrepreneurial spirit of its players that are committed to strategies of product and market diversification in the search for sustained competitive advantages in the global market.” That was how the president of COMPETE 2020, Rui Vinhas da Silva, characterized the cork sector after a four day visit to various companies spread throughout the country.
As part of the initiative “COMPETE 2020: close to those that create value”, the programme occurred from the 12th to the 16th of January 2016 and resulted in the visit to 21 industrial plants representative of the different subsectors of the cork industry and also a meeting with four other business people who presented their companies in the Observatório do Sobreiro e da Cortiça, in Coruche. This route also included visits to the three entities that represent this sector: Centro de Formação Profissional da Indústria da Cortiça (Cincork), the Centro Tecnológico da Cortiça (CTCOR), and the Associação Portuguesa da Cortiça (APCOR) – the entity responsible for the visits.
The president of COMPETE 2020 stressed that “the cork sector is committed to the building of sustainable competitive advantages upstream in the value chain, which result in efficient productive processes and downstream, through the satisfaction of the requirements of demanding clients in differentiated markets.” He also highlighted that “many companies have similar technological and equipment infrastructures, but it is the entrepreneurial spirit and the vision of the business person that makes the difference between success and failure.” At the level of technology and of productive processes, Rui Vinhas da Silva, emphasized that the cork sector companies are “endowed with sophisticated technologies, showing a constant concern for continual improvement of management processes, through the adoption of systems and techniques of modern management. They possesses extensive know-how and knowledge of productive processes as well as markets globally."
Rui Vinhas da Silva further noted that the cork sector “is committed to strategies of product and market diversification, rooted on a philosophy of constant innovation.” He also stated that: “it is a sector with a strong understanding of the dictates of economic competitiveness and of global market requirements.”
For the president of COMPETE 2020 there exist “stereotypes about the level of development of the country and its industry that frequently lead buyers, in B2B (business to business) and especially in B2C (business to consumer) contexts to have less willingness to prefer products of Portuguese origin or alternatively lead those foreign buyers to have psychological price ceilings above which they are not willing to pay for products claiming Portuguese origin. This reality has begun, progressively, to change, but there is still much work to be done for Portuguese products that have high intrinsic quality, but are yet unable to command price premia in demanding markets next to sophisticated buyers of high purchasing power. These negative stereotypes of the country of origin of the product cut across sectors of economic activity and are transferred to products that often are not even related.” He concluded: “the external image of the country could be a strong constraint to the adding of value to tradable goods and to the competiveness of the Portuguese economy in the global market. This reality has begun to change, but there still is a long way to go.”