IFA ‘disappointed’ that beef taskforce meeting on PGI was cancelled

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has expressed its “disappointment” that a meeting of the beef taskforce which was due to take place today to discuss the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish grass-fed beef was “called off”.

IFA president Tim Cullinan said the association had “a constructive meeting with the department on Friday [October 9], where we stressed the importance of farmers being in the majority on the monitoring group to oversee the grass-fed PGI.

It must be farmer controlled, not factory controlled. We have had enough of the tail wagging the dog.

“We also emphasised the importance of developing a suckler brand to complement the grass-fed PGI. This must be developed and led by farmers who can direct Bord Bia, rather than the other way around,” Cullinan said.

“We also sought that young bulls would be eligible to be included if they met the grass-fed criteria,” he added.

The last meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce took place on September 23 last, where the PGI was also discussed in great detail.

“We were disappointed the meeting was called off [today] as we want to move the process onto a conclusion,” Cullinan concluded.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine launched a national opposition procedure in relation to the PGI application on August 14.

PGI status is a type of intellectual property right, protecting food product names which are linked to a particular territory or to a particular production method, e.g. Connemara Hill Lamb.

22 statements of opposition to the PGI application were lodged as part of the national oppositions procedure.