APCOR has supported and implemented many programmes. Objective: to increase the development of the Portuguese cork industry in its varied areas of action. These are the main programmes:
- International Cork Campaign Programme - The third edition of the International Campaign for Cork is underway and looks to promote cork closures primarily in the French and German markets and also, on a secondary level, in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. The ICC III, as it is commonly designated, concludes end of 2007 and is aimed at both the consumer and trade. Its objective is to respond to the increasing threats made by both synthetic and screwcap closures. APCOR is responsible for implementation of this initiative, in partnership with ICEP Portugal – Portuguese Foreign Trade Office, which is a part of the Economical Modernization Incentives Program (PRIME).
It has a total investment of approximately 650 thousand euros, of which 30% is private funding. The International Campaign for Cork III arises in sequel to the ICC I, undergone between 2001 and 2003, in 10 countries ( USA, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Chile and Argentina) and the ICC II, carried out between September 2005 and September 2006, in three markets (UK, USA, Australia).
- its main objective being to strengthen the competitiveness of the Portuguese cork industry, this programme received investment of around two million euros, of which 75% from community funds (under PRIME support measures) and 25% from private funds. With a two-year duration, it provided incentives for the modernisation of the cork industry, changing the organisational philosophy of companies and contributing to the development of a key sector in the Portuguese economy. Presently, only the Research aspect of the programme is being implemented.
- Building Materials Industry Programme – the objective of this programme is the development and strengthening of the image of cork as a building material and covers the most representative associations in the sector, as well as the Portuguese Trade and Tourism Board (ICEP Portugal) in accordance with a public-private partnership model. With a global investment of around 4 million euros, the programme has as target markets Germany, United Kingdom, France, USA, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Angola, Canada, Morocco and Russia.
- Recycle Programme - To find a way to reuse the effluents of the cork industry for application in the tanning industry is the ambitious objective of the Programme Recycle which is going to be developed by APCOR and the Portuguese Leather Association (APIC), together with the corresponding technology centres – the Cork Technology Centre and the Tanning Industry Technology Centre and also the National Institute of Engineering and Industrial Technology and the Institute of Experimental and Technological Biology. Recycle intends to ensure the recovery of cork waste by transforming it into a subsidiary product with potential for application in the tanning sector and the promotion of ecoefficiency in the cork sector through development and optimisation of a system for the treatment of effluents resulting from the cork boiling, without the generation of mud and encouraging the industry to comply with environmental legislation. The financing of the Recycle programme is based on a public-private partnership model, the Portuguese Trade and Tourism Board (ICEP) and the Institute for the Support of Small and Medium Size Companies (IAPMEI) representing the public participation and APCOR and APIC representing the private participation.
- Corchiça Programme – This programme - Cooperation Strategy between Cork Companies for the Territorial Development of Alentejo and Extremadura -, is the result of a partnership between APCOR and the local Spanish cork sector association ASECOR (Agrupación Sanvicenteña de Empresarios del Corcho). The main objective of Corchiça is to improve the competitiveness of the cork industry, creating mechanisms of support for planning, cooperation and business management. Besides APCOR and ASECOR, other promoters of the programme include the municipal council of San Vicente de Alcántara and the municipal councils of Alter do Chão, Gavião, Ponte de Sôr and Portalegre.
- SME Training Programme - this Programme operates in a network, organised by the Portuguese Business Association (AEP), as its management entity, and a group of partner entities, most of which are industrial and commercial associations which implement the programme with its beneficiaries, small and very small companies (up to 100 employees). In the case of the cork sector, APCOR promotes the programme. SME Training is intended to contribute to the integrated development of these small companies through the development of personal, professional and organisational skills, using methodologies adapted to their dimension and contextual reality.