An application to register "Irish Grass Fed Beef" as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) was submitted to my Department by Bord Bia on behalf of producers. One of the legal requirements for a PGI application is that a 'National Opposition" procedure must be undertaken prior to submission of an application to the EU Commission. The draft application was published in August and the period for submissions ended on 11 September.
I can confirm that 22 submissions were received in response to the national opposition procedure. My Department is currently assessing these submissions. The matter is still the subject of the deliberative process. At the appropriate time, the issues raised in the opposition procedure will be made available with due regard to for data protection rules.
The PGI application was on the agenda of a recent meeting of the Beef Taskforce (23 September). A new draft of the application, clarifying issues raised in the submissions, was circulated prior to that meeting. The application will be discussed at another meeting of the taskforce in October.
Our Irish grass fed beef is a respected product nationally and internationally and that reputation is a reflection of the sustained efforts of farmers and all of those involved in striving to achieve the highest level of quality for our beef products. PGI status would assist Ireland in further communicating the characteristics and reputation of this quality product. This is in line with the Programme for Government commitment to “Work at EU level for the development of a Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) for Irish beef’.