The UK government has opposed plans to create a special EU designation for grass-fed Irish beef.
In 2020, Ireland submitted an application to the EU to obtain PGI status for Irish grass-fed beef, and it was hoped that the status could bring significant benefits to everyone involved in the beef supply chain, particularly cattle farmers who hope the status will market returns for their livestock would lead to a higher status.
The PGI status aims to protect the names of certain products in order to promote their unique characteristics linked to their geographical origin and traditional know-how.
However, Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue announced today that the EU Commission informed his ministry in March that the British authorities had lodged a “Notice of Opposition” to Ireland’s application.
In addition, a letter from the European Commission received by the Ministry asked Ireland and the Commission to look into the issue.
No details were released about the content of the UK’s appeal, but Ireland’s request had raised concerns among farmers in Northern Ireland.
In November 2020, the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) confirmed to Farming Independent that if Northern Ireland (NI) is not included in the registration application from the outset it will have “no choice but to object to the proposal” by the European Commission submitted.
At the time, UFU said it was working on behalf of Northern Ireland beef producers and that its priority was to ensure they had a level playing field with those in the Republic and that they received fair economic consideration for the high quality product they produce.
Minister McConalogue said his ministry is currently examining the UK’s reasoned statement of objection with An Bord Bia.
“For some time my department and An Bord Bia have been working closely with their colleagues in Northern Ireland to exchange information and offer advice on the technical aspects of a grass-fed standard and related matters relating to the possibility of a pure island PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef . I welcome the opportunity now for both parties to engage in the progress and completion of this work.”
“The PGI application and product specification have been reviewed by the European Commission, EU Member States and third countries. No further objections were communicated to the European Commission.
“I believe the success of bringing the application to this stage of the process demonstrates the quality of the product specification drafted by Bord Bia in consultation with my officials and which took into account collaboration with our agricultural representative bodies as part of our national appeals process. “
Minister McConalogue said he was hopeful that cooperation between the two parties could move forward quickly.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/uk-government-opposes-plan-for-special-designation-for-irish-grass-fed-beef-41578094.html The UK government opposes the plan for special labeling of grass-fed Irish beef