On 24 May we received fifty-two students from all over Europe visiting our cork factory on the occasion of the SERM (Southern European Regional Meeting), the annual meeting of the local committees that belong to IFSA, the International Association of Forestry Students.
The meeting, held from 20 to 26 May, was organized by AUSF Nuoro, the Nuoro Forestry Students University Association, that has been operating in the local and national territory since 1996. The main goal of AUSF is to increase the awareness of the issues relating to sustainable forest management, promoting activities of scientific and operational interest, with the patronage of FSC Italia and many other operators in the sector.
The students began the day by visiting the experimental cork forest of "Cusseddu-Miali-Parapinta" in Tempio Pausania, managed by the Research Service for Cork and Forestry of the Agris Sardinia Regional Agency. This cork forest was the first in the world to obtain the FSC® Forest Certification (certificate n° SA FM/COC-001436) in 2005, for forest management and chain of custody, which certifies compliance with the main criteria for sustainable forest management.
The visit then continued towards our cork factory, with a visit to the production plant and the analysis of how Sugherificio Molinas manages more than 8000 hectares of owned cork forests between Sardinia and Tuscany. In particular, it was important to make the students understand how the management of the Lu Canniscioni cork forest of the Limbara ARL agricultural company of the Molinas Group, in the locality of Baldu, has been done: it was the first company in Italy to obtain the FSC® Certification for a private cork forest, of property. In our factory, we were able to illustrate, with the help of our staff, all the processing stages that cork goes through to go from raw material to finished product, showing the students the machinery, the technologies used and the laboratory, the flagship of our business where tests and quality controls are carried out and where new research and development projects are proposed and developed.
This day proved to be a unique educational opportunity, a moment of exchange and comparison that allowed students to acquire knowledge and skills directly in the field. For us, it was a pride to have had the opportunity to make our contribution.