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HISTORY

1926

First steps

Year of the first permission and license for the cork activity. The business was created by Ernesto Lourenço Estrada, grandfather of the current owners. At that date, he already had his own business, but it was the beginning of the relationship between the Estrada family and Cork

1974

Ahead of it's time

As a result of the crisis that triggered the climb of price of oil products, Sofalca was once again a pioneer by installing the first mixed boiler plant in the cork sector, in Portugal, which resulted in a saving of resources and the first steps towards an optimum energy sustainability. This boiler provided the replacement of naphtha, as fuel, by biomass, by recycling an existing waste, the “cork powder”. It was the same philosophy that guided it from the beginning: value regional products, save resources and achieve a management with economic and environmental costs reduction.

1990

Always improving

With the increasing scarcity of raw materials, Sofalca developed cork extraction machines , thus gaining greater certainty of obtaining the raw material in the future, given the difficulty of extraction.

1966

The foundation

Sofalca was born, by the hand of Ernesto, Mário and João Estrada, father and uncles of the current owners, being now part of Estrada Group. It was the year in which the fiftieth anniversary of Abrantes, as a City, was celebrated and the Industrial Conditioning Law was in place, which only allowed the opening of new industrial units with the authorization of the Government.
The Government only authorized the creation of Sofalca if there were farmers associated with the company’s capital. This was done, and several entrepreneurs and farmers of Abrantes were associated with this objective.
The inauguration of the Factory was integrated in the official commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the City.
The factory was implemented in Abrantes, because it was near to the cork oak forest, in the middle of the raw material, which ended up saving resources in terms of collection and transportation, as well as to take advantage of the long tradition and the ”Know-how” of working cork.
Sofalca introduced a horizontal cutting system as soon as the production started, whereas the usual in this industry was the vertical sawing, which allowed a greater precision in the measurements of the agglomerate boards.

1975

From Abrantes to the world

The Portuguese producers of expanded cork agglomerate united, creating ISOCOR ACE, to enable a better marketing of their brands in the world. Sofalca has been a supplier of ISOCOR since its foundation. ISOCOR seeks to develop and market the products developed by the companies that make up the group, constantly looking for innovation and the creation of new product lines.

1926

First steps

Year of the first permission and license for the cork activity. The business was created by Ernesto Lourenço Estrada, grandfather of the current owners. At that date, he already had his own business, but it was the beginning of the relationship between the Estrada family and Cork

1966

The foundation

Sofalca was born, by the hand of Ernesto, Mário and João Estrada, father and uncles of the current owners, being now part of Estrada Group. It was the year in which the fiftieth anniversary of Abrantes, as a City, was celebrated and the Industrial Conditioning Law was in place, which only allowed the opening of new industrial units with the authorization of the Government.
The Government only authorized the creation of Sofalca if there were farmers associated with the company’s capital. This was done, and several entrepreneurs and farmers of Abrantes were associated with this objective.
The inauguration of the Factory was integrated in the official commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the City.
The factory was implemented in Abrantes, because it was near to the cork oak forest, in the middle of the raw material, which ended up saving resources in terms of collection and transportation, as well as to take advantage of the long tradition and the ”Know-how” of working cork.
Sofalca introduced a horizontal cutting system as soon as the production started, whereas the usual in this industry was the vertical sawing, which allowed a greater precision in the measurements of the agglomerate boards.

1974

Ahead of it's time

As a result of the crisis that triggered the climb of price of oil products, Sofalca was once again a pioneer by installing the first mixed boiler plant in the cork sector, in Portugal, which resulted in a saving of resources and the first steps towards an optimum energy sustainability. This boiler provided the replacement of naphtha, as fuel, by biomass, by recycling an existing waste, the “cork powder”. It was the same philosophy that guided it from the beginning: value regional products, save resources and achieve a management with economic and environmental costs reduction.

1975

From Abrantes to the world

The Portuguese producers of expanded cork agglomerate united, creating ISOCOR ACE, to enable a better marketing of their brands in the world. Sofalca has been a supplier of ISOCOR since its foundation. ISOCOR seeks to develop and market the products developed by the companies that make up the group, constantly looking for innovation and the creation of new product lines.

1990

Always improving

With the increasing scarcity of raw materials, Sofalca developed cork extraction machines , thus gaining greater certainty of obtaining the raw material in the future, given the difficulty of extraction.

Nowadays

Expanding a Sustainable Future

Today, 85% of the products produced by Sofalca are destined for exportation. France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Germany, UK, Italy, Japan and China are the main markets, to where the products manufactured by Sofalca are exported. The quality of our company’s ecological matrix products and the exceptional qualities of the cork agglomerate are quite appreciated in Portugal and in these sophisticated international markets. Currently, Sofalca continues with the main focus on insulation, but increasingly the design / decoration are markets that have opened new doors for the future. In 2014, the Blackcork furniture brand was created with the creative direction of Designer Toni Grilo and, in 2015, Gencork was born in partnership with Digitalab, a brand that has already won international awards, such as the Green Product Award 2016, Les Decouvertes Awards in Maison et Objet in Paris 2016 and the German Design Award 2017.

VALUES

Innovation, respect for the environment, reduced use of resources other than the raw material of origin, professionalism in response to new challenges and strong concern with our Clients, Suppliers and Workers are values that are part of the Estrada family and the whole company. Sofalca is therefore a company constantly concerned with social responsibility, as well as with innovation in order to provide the customer with the best product possible. Its pioneering character, the quality of its product and the attitude of its owners and employees, has given it an enormous visibility and credibility in the cork market. Since climate problems are an important issue in our days, it is essential to mention that Sofalca is concerned with teaching the world the qualities of the cork agglomerate in the isolation of homes or commercial spaces, as well as the importance of the Cork-Oak forest. In addition to partnerships with various private and public entities, every year, schools and universities visit the factory so that the next generations know about cork and increasingly value it.

cork harvesting

MISSION

cork harvesting

For several years in the market, always with cork as raw material for the creation of its products, Sofalca works every day to develop processes of innovation in its business areas. Our products are tested and comply with all the certification processes, we are a sustainable company whose main objective is the creation of natural and ecological solutions for the market, providing awareness to all the qualities of the expanded cork agglomerate.The production process of Sofalca is sustainable, being energetically self-sufficient in 95% of its needs, by the use of its own biomass (cork powder).More than a company, we are a sustainable concept and are primarily concerned with the environment and the creation of solutions to facilitate the day-by-day of our customers and future generations, making a highly sustainable product known. Sofalca complies with all environmental standards, including as a company certified as a cork recycler.

The expansion of the business to different areas is an objective that Sofalca has been developing throughout its growth as a production company. The Blackcork furniture, Corkwave and Gencork wall covering brands have been gaining notoriety, due to the customer’s desire for good insulation, but also a pleasant decoration to the eye and with an environmental concern. We want to be the best, constantly innovating, and we are ready to answer to all of the challenges made by by Architects, Engineers, Designers, Builders and Owners.

With the recent acquisition of new equipment (CNC`s, Saws and computer equipment), we are ready to receive the challenges of our Clients and to give forms / shapes to this product, so sustainable and appetizing, never before imagined. The construction of Isocor and Sofalca exhibition spaces at fairs, such as the Maison & Objet in Paris, Tektónica, the Lisbon Design Show, the Salone del Mobile in Milan, entirely in expanded cork agglomerate and the various auditoriums built with blocks of Agglomerated cork, in partnerships with various entities, show the general public the excellent production capacities and give the product unique characteristics that awaken the senses – smell, touch, vision / sight and memory of the image of the cork that each person has.