Granorte: 50 years of cork innovation

Celebrating 50 years since its foundation by the Rocha family, Granorte has moved from cork stopper production to being a leader in decorative surface design…

Granorte cork tiles

In 1955, Francisco Rocha started a cork stopper production company and by the 1970s the business had grown 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 that something must be done to create value from it. With this in mind, 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 last 50 years the family-run business has 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 now exports 90 per cent of its products to more than 50 countries.

“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,” said Paulo Rocha, Granorte. “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.”

Processing 6,600 tonnes per year of cork waste – impressive quantities given the material’s light weight nature – at three production sites totalling 48,000m2 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.

“Cork has come a long way since our foundation in 1972,” said Rocha.”We are confident that 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 are excited about the future and introducing the benefits of this wonder of nature to new generations.”

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.

Granorte is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Granorte