Cork tree forest in Sardinia - agriculture

Food and Agriculture in Sardinia

By Region News The Islands

Agriculture: Sardinia produced a record-breaking almost 50 metre ricotta – the largest in the world.  Meanwhile, the international cork promotion campaign highlighted Sardinia’s contribution to the Italian cork production.

Agriculture in Sardinia is an important part of the island’s economy. The Sardinia branch of Coldiretti initiated the record-breaking event to highlight the authenticity of agri-food products against those produced in a lab. Almost 50 metres of ricotta was produced derived from milk. Coldiretti holds the traditional production provides the flavour related to the territory it originates from.

The immense ricotta was created this weekend in Alghero. It was a collaboration between the Lait di Ittiri Cooperative and the Villanovesi and Aci Sassari breeders cooperative. It was held inside the Coldiretti Rally Village on the Italian stage of the world rally, with over thirty companies.

Comedian Franz, one half of the comedy duo Ale and Franz, also took part. He helped the shepherds make ricotta, together with local politicians and dignitaries. To support the initiative of Coldiretti Sardegna there were also numerous sportsmen and tourists who tasted the 47-metre long ricotta.

“Cheese can only be produced from milk from animals as well as ricotta from the whey that derives from it. We are wary of those who tell us that it can be produced in the laboratory,” says president of Coldiretti Sardegna, Battista Cualbu.  

“These are proposals that want to deprive us of the distinctiveness of our food products for an approved diet; the same for everyone, without flavours, identity, culture, and territory. Milk is irreplaceable and changes according to the land in which our animals graze. Among other things, ours are sustainable farms.”

Related article: locusts plague Sardinia

More than a billion corks per year

Italy produces around 1.5 billion corks per year and 90% of the cork forests are in the north of Sardinia.  In fact, the Sardinian production represents 70% of the entire production. As one would imagine, the wine sector is the main market do this material.

This was revealed by the international cork promotion campaign, supported and financed by Apcor (Portuguese Cork Association) and Assoimballaggi – Federlegno / Arredo.

Interestingly, the data presented also indicated that 86% of consumers in Italy believe natural cork is a sign of wine quality.

The 2021-2022 campaign sees the involvement of target countries such as Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, France, China and the USA. Italy has an average annual production of about 6,000 tonnes.

90% of the cork forests are located in the north of Sardinia, in the Gallura region. In the Sardinian territory there are about 250 companies, which transform about 70% of all the cork destined for the production of corks.

The average production of cork in the world is about 200,000 tons. However, production is mainly concentrated in the western Mediterranean basin. There are around 2.1 million hectares of cork forests between Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and France.

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