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Published:  23 July, 2008

Apcor, the Portuguese Cork Association, has announced a new initiative to drive forward modernisation in the cork stopper industry. A e2.5 million fund will be utilised to commission crucial, independent research with the objective of eradicating TCA in natural cork closures. The association, which represents 75% of the cork producers in Portugal - the world's largest cork producing nation - announced the new research fund at last week's London International Wine & Spirits Fair. Commencing 2003, five areas of research will be undertaken over a two-year period: * The life cycle of natural cork stoppers; * the stabilisation period of raw natural cork; * natural cork's contribution to the maturation of wine; * new treatments and developments within the industry; * and new processes to eradicate TCA. Francisco de Brito Evangelista, the director of Apcor's International Campaign for Cork', said: This initiative is a breakthrough for our industry. It demonstrates clearly, and for the first time, that we are dedicating the appropriate resources to finding a solution to TCA in natural cork stoppers - industry-wide.' Apcor says it is committed to having the active involvement of the wine industry in shaping the research programme, which will be undertaken by independent research institutions. We want to ensure that the results prove beneficial and informative for the cork industry and the wine industry,' added de Brito Evangelista.