Award-winning Broadland Drinks is installing a new corking machine at its BRC AA* wine packing facility as part of its mission to help retailers and brand owners to cut their carbon footprints.
The move will give access to low minimum order quantity corking capabilities and is particularly well-suited to premium bulk wines and brands. MOQs of 3,000 litres can be handled – either from single containers or as a “carve-off” from larger bulk wine flexis and tanks.
It further enables Broadland Drinks to support wine retailers and producers to reduce carbon and reflects the company’s inherent commitment to sustainability.
Although cork lost favour within the UK wine bottling trade 15 years ago due to the potential for contamination with TCA (a musty-smelling taint caused when a cork is infected with a chemical called Trichloroanisole), technical advances in cork production mean its benefits are now fully available to the wine trade.
Cork closures reduce the carbon footprint of a bottle of wine as the natural material sequesters carbon.
A recent report conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, commissioned by Amorim
suggests a single natural cork stopper can capture up to 392g of CO2.
Deeply ingrained in the wine culture, using cork can also align with consumer expectations and perceptions of quality, and appeal to an increasingly eco-aware consumer.
Broadland’s expert wine care and handling techniques ensure the quality and characteristics of premium wines are preserved. These include low shear pumps, inert gas blanketing, in-line inert gas injection and CO2
membrane systems meaning low O2
pickup. Being a winery, they can also offer wine treatments like crossflow filtration, chill stabilisation and bentonite fining.
Broadland Drinks CEO Mark Lansley
, a chemical engineer with a particular interest in the science of reversing global warming, said “Given cork’s low, or even negative, carbon footprint and ability to enhance the perceived quality and value of wine, we felt it might be useful for premium retailers and brand owners to have a UK wine bottler that could offer cork closures, at low minimum order quantities.
“We see the addition of cork as another part of our ‘One Stop Shop for Cutting Carbon’ offering to premium retailers and brand owners.”
Advisor Clem Yates MW
added “Cork is a natural product that is carbon negative. Not only does it help with premiumisation through packaging, it reduces the carbon footprint of the product. Across both natural and technical stoppers, the technology exists to offer non-detectable TCA corks with consistent and predictable OTR control. There is a cork for all types of wine, so by choosing to use a cork, suppliers can enhance their wine quality, whilst lowering the overall carbon footprint.”
Broadland Drinks launched its ‘one stop shop to cut carbon’
at the International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show last November to help retailers and brand owners reduce their carbon footprint.
The Norfolk company offers a full range of low carbon packaging formats including BiBs, lightweight glass bottles, frugal paper bottles, kegs and aluminium cans. It was one of the first companies in the UK to install a Bag in Box filling line 40 years ago.
More than 1 billion litres of wine are consumed in the UK every year
in approximately 1.5 billion glass bottles
. Once production, transport and packaging are taken into account, each bottle creates typically 1kg of CO2e
. That means the carbon footprint for UK wine consumption is very approximately 1.5 million tonnes of CO2e
For every litre of wine switched from 75cl glass bottle to 3L BIB would save 0.6Kg CO2e
. If all 1 billion litres of wine consumer in the UK were switched to BiB, it would see the equivalent of cutting 600m tonnes of CO2e.
The company is aiming to eliminate fossil fuel usage
at its winery by 2025
and is well on track.
It has already invested in 1,000 500w solar panels
to cover its winery roof leading to on-site generation of over a third of its electricity consumption
with the rest of its power met by renewable energy. And it has switched to LED lighting
in office and production areas, completed the switching of its fleet of forklift trucks from gas to electric
and introduced a successful cycle-to-work scheme for employees.
Broadland Drinks won the Drinks Business Green Awards 2023
for Water Management
Its water treatment plant processes thousands of litres of winery wash waters so they are taken directly by drain to the village water recovery system, instead of being driven away for processing by nearly 3,000 HGVs.
Sustainable facts about cork:
- Cork is an ecological and sustainable material which is 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and reusable
- Cork is carbon negative and has a 90% waste recovery rate
- A cork oak tree can live up to 200 years, during which time it may be harvested 15 to 18 times
- It takes, on average, 25 years before a cork oak can be harvested for the first time
- The following harvestings are made at intervals of, at least, nine years, always between May and August, when the tree is at its most active phase of growth
- It is only after the 3rd harvest – 43 years – that the cork has achieved the standards of quality required for a natural cork stopper