Beef taskforce to consider PGI application before it’s submitted to EU

The application for protected geographic indication (PGI) status for ‘Irish Grass-Fed Beef’ will be sent to the European Commission for approval after the Beef Market Taskforce is consulted on the matter.

The PGI application, which was developed by Bord Bia, has now gone through the national oppositions procedure, in which 22 opposition submissions were received.

A spokesperson for the department said today that the submission will be considered by the department, and if it is determined that it is appropriate for the application to proceed, a final version of the application document will be published.

The fourth meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce is due to be held later this month. The stakeholders will be consulted on the PGI application document then.

Once this consultation takes place, and the opposition submissions are assessed by the department, the application will then be submitted to the European Commission for further scrutiny.

If the commission is satisfied with the application, other EU member states and countries outside the EU will have an opportunity to give their views.

The department spokesperson highlighted that: “Any decision on the application will depend on the outcome of the EU’s scrutiny of any opposition at that stage.”

Among the groups that submitted an opposition submission are the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’s Association (ICSA) and the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association (INHFA).

In its submission, the ICSA said: “ICSA opposes the one size fits all application because it is too diluted and undermines the potential to get a premium price for specialist suckler beef production.”

Meanwhile, the INHFA said: “We were left with no choice in the matter because of the lack of consultation and debate on the application with suckler farmers, who see this grass-fed PGI as a threat to their naturally reared product and as being driven by processors and the dairy industry.”