The publication of an application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ is expected to be opened for opposition in the autumn.
The European Commission has confirmed to Agriland that it is currently examining the application after Ireland sent the commission an updated PGI application and replied to the commission’s questions on June 3, 2021.
A spokesperson for the European Commission has now said: “If all goes well, we expect the examination to be complete for a publication for opposition in autumn.”
The PGI application is a proposal which was compiled by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Bord Bia.
DAFM has told Agriland: “It is open to the European Commission to seek further clarifications.
“The rules provide that when the commission considers that the relevant conditions are fulfilled, it shall publish the application in the Official Journal of the European Union, for a three month ‘opposition procedure’ which is open both to EU member states and third countries.”
‘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.
They must also spend a minimum of 220 days per year throughout their lifetime grazing pasture in accordance with the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard.
Under the EU quality schemes, achieving PGI recognition for products enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products while also helping producers to market their products better.
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.
A successful PGI application to the European Commission would allow Irish beef, which meets the specification, to bear the PGI logo.
The European Commission has previously indicated that it would be possible for Northern Ireland to make a submission as part of the ‘opposition procedure’, requesting that the geographical area be extended to the whole island of Ireland.