McConalogue announces publication of Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI application

The publication of the final version of the Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) application for “Irish Grass Fed Beef”, submitted by Bord Bia, has been announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.

Commenting today (Thursday, November 26), Minister McConalogue state:d “Following detailed scrutiny, my department has determined that the application is in order to be submitted to the European Commission.

“I want to thank all the stakeholders, including the members of the Beef Taskforce, who have engaged in this process and have helped progress the application to this stage.”

“I know that there is a detailed process which must now be completed by the European Commission in evaluating this application.

However, I will be emphasising to Commissioner Wojciechowski that PGI status for our unique quality, Irish grass fed beef would have benefits for all those in the supply chain, principally the primary producer, at this critical time for the Irish beef sector.

Continuing, the minister added: “If the PGI is successfully registered, a PGI Monitoring Group will be established to report to the Beef Taskforce on progress on a regular basis, with a majority farmer representation.”

Minister McConalogue said that he will continue to engage with Minister for Agriculture Edwin Poots and his stakeholders in Northern Ireland to pursue an All-island PGI status and Minister McConalogue said he will work closely Minister Poots in this regard.

Following the National Opposition Procedure and scrutiny of the application for a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish Grass Fed Beef, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has determined that the application is in order to be submitted to the European Commission for evaluation.

“Irish Grass Fed Beef” is the name given to quality Irish beef from cattle raised on a grass based diet on pasture grazing farms in Ireland, which derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass and spend a minimum of 220 days per year throughout their lifetime grazing pasture in accordance with the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard.

Since publication of the National Opposition Procedure, following feedback from stakeholders including the Beef Task Force, a number of minor amendments and clarifications were made to the application.

In addition, the European Commission will be advised of strong views expressed during the National Opposition Procedure, that grass-fed young bulls should be included, when further data on this cohort is available to support this.

In addition, it will be advised of Ireland’s support for the PGI being extended on an all-island basis, when a grass-fed verification system is in place in Northern Ireland.

Any natural or legal person, having a legitimate interest and resident in Ireland, may appeal the decision on the application by submitting their appeal grounds to [email protected] by 3:00pm on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Concluding, Minister McConalogue said:

“This is the latest measure by me and my department to strengthen and enhance the beef sector.

I have secured €6 million in funding in Budget 2021 for the marketing and branding of suckler-based brand.

“Last week, we paid out over €46 million through the Beef Finisher Payment while a further €85 million has been secured as part of Budget 2021 to support sustainable beef farming.”