Irish beef has achieved special recognition by the European Union for an all-island Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish Grass Fed Beef.
This is the fruits of four years of work by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission. The all-island nature of the designation is particularly notable.
According to DAFM, geographical indication is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place or origin of the goods.
Agricultural products typically have qualities that derive from their place or production and are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil. These laws protect the names of wines, cheeses, hams, sausages, seafood, olives, beers, Balsamic vinegar and even regional breads, fruits, raw meats and vegetables.
Following the news of this important development for the Irish Beef sector, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD stated, “this PGI status will help differentiate Irish beef’s premium position in key markets, due to the exceptional quality and sustainability of our pasture-based production system and bring added value to our beef. My immediate priority is to work with Bord Bia and stakeholders to ensure maximum benefits can be derived from Irish Grass Fed Beef’s protected status for farmers, processors and exporters and our economy.”
Jim O’Toole, Chief Executive of Bord Bia said “Irish Grass Fed Beef now joins an illustrious club of European food and drink products afforded protected geographical status. Today’s official announcement is positive news for the Irish beef sector and is warmly welcomed by Bord Bia. From spring 2024, we plan to embark on a marketing campaign to promote the PGI for Irish grass-fed beef to key customers in European markets.”
Bord Bia acknowledged that the real work now begins to build awareness among trade customers, followed by targeted consumer marketing where Irish Beef products are available in European markets.