July 12, 2022


Irish agriculture minister welcomes progress in application for Irish grass fed beef



Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD, recently welcomed important progress on the application for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for Irish grass fed beef.


"I am very pleased that consultations between my Department and Bord Bia with their Northern Ireland and UK counterparts have successfully concluded, with agreement that the geographical area covered by the application will cover both Ireland and Northern Ireland," McConalogue said. "I have always been committed to extending the PGI application on an all-island basis. I have discussed this issue with my counterpart Minister Edwin Poots on a number of occasions... I acknowledge and commend the hard work of all those involved in reaching this agreement, including my Department officials and Bord Bia, and their counterparts in Northern Ireland, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the Livestock and Meat Commission and the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


"The European Commission will now be notified of the agreement; and I hope that the remaining steps can be progressed quickly, so that the process for registration may be finalised by the European Commission as soon as possible.


"I want the PGI for Irish grass fed beef to be of real benefit to the suckler and beef farmers on the island as a reward for their hard work, commitment and dedication to producing a world-class beef product. I am excited to see the process come to a conclusion as soon as possible."


The interim chief executive officer of Bord Bia, Michael Murphy, said: " I welcome the progress made in getting the application to this stage. Bord Bia initiated this PGI application because it presents a significant opportunity to add value for Irish beef exports to key markets based on a well-established reputation of excellent quality based on our unique pasture-based production system. We are now progressing our approach to the implementation of the PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef in our European markets, pending the successful completion of the application process.


"Together with our farmers, exporters and customers, we want to ensure that the PGI can be implemented to grow consumers' recognition of the unique characteristics and reputation of Irish grass fed beef as a protected European regional product. "


The revised specification will be published on the website of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine shortly, and notified to the European Commission, which will advise on next steps. Due to the change to the geographical area, this will require a further publication and consultation period at EU/third country level.


After an extensive consultation process with stakeholders in Ireland, a PGI application for Irish grass fed beef from Bord Bia, on behalf of producers, was submitted to the European Commission in November 2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.


Between May and October 2021, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia responded to European Commission queries as part of the commission's scrutiny of the application.


On December 8, 2021 the European Commission published the PGI application for a three month EU/third country opposition procedure.


Following the submission by the United Kingdom of a reasoned statement of opposition, on April 14, the European Commission invited both parties to engage on the opposition to the PGI.


Detailed discussions between the parties involved have been ongoing since April.


- Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

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