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Major Milestone in Registration of Protected Geographical Indicator for Irish Grass-Fed Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, announced that the European Commission has confirmed that it has finalised the opposition procedure on the application for a Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) for grass-fed Irish beef. This clears the way for the final stage of adoption and publication by the Commission which they have advised should conclude by mid-December.

Under EU quality schemes, the names of products for which an intrinsic link exists between product qualities or characteristics and geographical origin are protected. This PGI for Irish Grass-Fed Beef will operate on an all-island basis.

The three-month opposition procedure which was published on 4 August closed on 4 November. The Commission has confirmed that no opposition was received and the application moves to the final stage of adoption and registration.

The Minister commented, “I am delighted that the European Commission has confirmed that a major milestone has been reached in our grass-fed PGI application. They are now undertaking the final procedural steps to adopt and register ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ as a cross-border PGI, a process which I understand will conclude in a matter of weeks. This is tremendous news and is a huge endorsement of the qualities and sustainability of our grass-fed beef. I acknowledge the work of my Department which initiated the process some time ago, the work of Bord Bia as joint applicant on behalf of producers, and stakeholders who participated in the process and helped to bring the application to this stage. I also acknowledge the efforts of our colleagues in the UK and Northern Ireland and the joint applicant the Livestock and Meat Commission who participated in helping to make this an all-island application.”

“A PGI status for Irish Grass Fed Beef will help to bring enhanced recognition of the sustained efforts and know-how of our farmers and processors to produce a quality grass fed beef product. Once this PGI is formally adopted and registered it’ll be important that the marketing opportunities of this recognition are harnessed and the benefits of our grass-fed beef can be communicated to the discerning consumer who value quality and sustainability. As a next step, My Department will be engaging with Bord Bia on the establishment of a PGI monitoring group in anticipation of the conclusion of the process.”

Jim O’ Toole, Chief Executive of Bord Bia, commented, “this is very positive news from the Commission. Achieving PGI status for Irish grass fed beef has been a long-held ambition for the Irish beef industry. Bord Bia has been preparing for PGI status over several years, from submitting the application to conducting market intelligence to best understand attitudes to PGIs. We have marketing plans in development for PGI Grass Fed Irish Beef and will leverage this opportunity for the benefit of Irish beef farmers and the wider beef sector.”

The author: Ryan Harmon