January 23, 2024

Cork Quality Council is Now the Natural Cork Council

Organization Announces Name Change, New Leadership in its 30th Year
Napa, California: Today the Cork Quality Council, a non-profit organization founded in 1994 to promote education and improve quality assurance procedures for the wine and cork industries, today proudly announces a significant milestone in its journey. The newly-named Natural Cork Council highlights natural cork as the most sustainable wine closure in existence. Through ongoing promotion of sustainable forest management and preservation of the biodiversity of cork oak forests, the Natural Cork Council’s strategic vision focuses on marketing and education to both the wine industry and end consumers, while continuing its rigorous testing protocols to ensure the highest level of cork quality from suppliers.

At a time where businesses and consumers care about sustainability more than ever, a topic that influences purchasing decisions, this renewed focus aligns with consumer trends and market demands. The new organizational name makes its debut at this week’s Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento, California, the largest wine and grape conference in the nation and created in 1995 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

The new name also comes at a time of changes to organization leadership. After 20+ years of incredible leadership of the Cork Quality Council, Executive Director Peter Weber has taken a step back from the organization to pursue his own exciting business goals. The organization expresses deep gratitude for his commitment over a time period of significant change in the wine industry.

Photo Source: From bark to bottle: Patrick Spencer at TEDxSalem
Photo Source: From bark to bottle: Patrick Spencer at TEDxSalem

Taking the baton is Patrick Spencer, who comes with a wealth of experience and a career-long ethical commitment to sustainable business practices over 30+ years. Patrick was formerly an International Board Member for the International Forest Stewardship Council, and founder & former Executive Director of the Cork Conservation Alliance, an environmental NGO whose sole mission is to preserve and protect the Mediterranean cork forests. Patrick was instrumental in creating Cork ReHarvest, the first natural cork recycling program in North America, and worked with Oregon state agencies in development of a “Carbon Neutral” winery program.

“I am excited by this new challenge to help promote the cork industry’s strides in quality and sustainable practices, which showcase their commitment to innovation, ensuring a future where excellence meets environmental responsibility.” –Patrick Spencer, Natural Cork Council Executive Director

Branding and website work for the organizational name change is actively underway.


About Natural Cork Council

The Natural Cork Council (née Cork Quality Council) was founded in 1994 to serve the cork and wine industries, to ensure cork quality and to promote natural cork as the most sustainable wine closure method. By promoting sustainable forest management practices of cork oak forests while standardizing quality control procedures between member suppliers, the Natural Cork Council is dedicated to educating the wine industry and the public about the importance and benefits of sustainable wine packaging practices at the highest level of cork quality. The non-profit group developed a rigorous cork-testing standard at its inception, successfully implementing a series of quality standards to be applied to all cork shipments received for the US market. Adherence to these standards is subject to CQC audits and, in some cases, third party testing.

About M. A. Silva USA

M. A. Silva has been a dedicated and proud member of the Natural Cork Council (NCC) (née Cork Quality Council) since its inception. As the NCC undergoes new changes, M. A. Silva is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and looks forward to continuing its collaboration with the NCC. Together we believe leveraging these changes will further strengthen our commitment to excellence, innovation, and industry engagement within the sustainability sector. M. A. Silva remains steadfast in its support of the NCC’s mission and is eager to be part of the organization’s continued success.

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