The fourth meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce is set to take place today (Wednesday, September 23) with the protected geographical indication (PGI) status application and producer organisations (POs) on the table for discussion.

The meeting will take place virtually, and will kick-off between 2:00pm and 3:00pm, it is understood.

The meeting will bring together representatives from the main farming organisations, as well as representatives from Meat Industry Ireland (MII), Bord Bia and department officials.

One of the most pressing issues in the sector at the moment is the application for PGI status for ‘Irish Grass-Fed Beef’, developed by Bord Bia.

It is understood that there will be updates and discussion on the PGI application among taskforce members.

This is the first sitting of the taskforce since the PGI application documents were revealed, giving stakeholders the opportunity to raise issues they might have with Bord Bia personnel.

As well as the PGI, it is understood that today’s meeting will also discuss producer organisations.

At present, there are two producer organisations for the beef sector in Ireland: Irish Beef Producers; and Emerald Isle Beef Producers.

The drive to make producer organisations a more prominent feature of the Irish beef sector took off in a big way after last year’s protests at meat factories and the subsequent Beef Sector Agreement.

Grant Thornton reports

An ongoing item for the taskforce is the progress on three studies by professional services firm Grant Thornton, which was commissioned by the taskforce to conduct three separate reports into market transparency.

The taskforce will be updated today on the progress on these reports, which has been slow so far, due to both Covid-19 and apparent difficulties ascertaining relevant information from certain stakeholders.

The three reports are on: competition law relating to the beef sector; market and customer requirements relating to in-spec bonus criteria; and the price composition of an animal along the supply chain.

Stakeholders will also be given a general market update, and will also talk about the potential for a national DNA register for animals.

Stay tuned to AgriLand for more on today’s meeting of the Beef Market Taskforce…