Jun 18th, 2015
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Abraham Lincoln University
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Week 4:The wine industry & the need for closureCase study: The cork industry, the wine industry and the need for closure.IntroductionThis case study explores the use of cork as a way of sealing wine in a bottle; referred to as a closure in the wine industry. This 400 year old industry with all its associated working practices has continued largely unaffected by technology changes in almost all other industries- until that was the 1990s when synthetic plastic closures were used by some wine producers instead of natural cork. With a requirement of over 17 billion wine bottle closures a year the cork industry could arguably afford a little competition, but it seems the cork industry had not recognised the significant changes taking place in the wine industry to which it acts as a supplier (Cole, 2006). The wine industry was experiencing a revolution where new producers from Australia, California and Chile had new and different requirements. In a matter of a few years the industry had changed completely.The wine industryThe Portuguese cork industry is facing an environmental and economic disaster as wine makers and large grocery chains defect from natural cork closures to modern synthetic closures, such as rubber or plastic. Portugal supplies more than half of the worlds cork and has been experiencing a slow move away from cork since the mid 1990s. More recently the trickle has turned into a flood as changes in the wine industry and buying behaviours contribute to

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