Cork comes primarily from the Mediterranean areas, with Portugal supplying the majority of product. Although the cork oak has been brought to other countries, it does not produce the same quality of bark or yield as generous a harvest as it does in its native land. The Mediterranean countryside is perfect for nurturing its growth. Families in the cork industry have managed cork trees and reaped the harvest for hundreds of years. Now, as a result of the myth about cork, the way of life for the people is changing. This means that the trees are no longer manicured and cared for as diligently and in turn, the biodiversity of the area is beginning to change as well. The cork trees, which may live over 300 years, are not harmed when the bark is carefully and skillfully stripped, since only the outer bark is removed and, in a few years, new tissue grows to replace what is missing. Think of it as a spa treatment for the tree!