June 22, 2017


USDA gives Irish beef imports approval seal



The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given its seal of approval to Irish beef, which means it acknowledges the product's excellent quality, the Irish Food Board (Bord Bia) said.


Bord Bia said the approval was the culmination of three years of engagement with USDA and last week's visit by the USDA to Ireland to audit Bord Bia's systems as the competent authority in registering and monitoring the Irish exporters who wish to avail themselves of the approval seal based on the following claims about exported Irish beef:


-- More than 80% grass diet;

-- From farms participating in Bord Bia's Origin Green Sustainability Scheme;

-- Fully traceable from farm to fork;

-- From quality-assured farms and processing systems;

-- Pasture for more than 6/7/8 months per year;

-- Raised on family farms;

-- Raised without the use of growth hormones; and

-- Treated responsibly with use of antibiotics.


The announcement of the approval came following a meeting between the USDA and Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D.; and Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia, on the first day (Monday, June 19) of an Irish trade mission to the US.


"I am extremely pleased that we have received the green light to proceed with a measure which has the potential to add significant value to our beef offering to the US. Irish beef processors will now have the opportunity to market their produce as 'Irish Grass Fed Beef' subject to adherence to the verification process", Creed said.


For her part, McCarthy said "earning the trust of the USDA after such a rigorous process will also enhance Ireland's reputation in other markets".