THE Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) has welcomed confirmation from the European Commission that the application to have Irish Grass Fed Beef registered as a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) has progressed to the final stage.
Commenting on the latest development, LMC interim chief executive, Colin Smith said, “In August the European Commission launched the PGI Member State/ Third Country opposition procedure. This has now concluded with no opposition lodged in relation to the application. This means the Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI will move to the final stage of adoption and registration.”
Procedural steps are now underway to adopt and register the Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI on an all-island basis. It is anticipated that the PGI will be adopted and published by mid December.
Colin continued, “This is a hugely positive development which will further endorse the high-quality beef produced here. It is also recognition of the unwavering commitment of our farmers to produce top quality, grass-fed beef for consumers in domestic and international markets.
“The credentials of PGI are valued in many markets, and we are delighted that, pending final adoption procedures, Irish Grass Fed Beef will join over 3,500 geographical indications already registered by the European Commission.”
The interim chief executive acknowledged that the successful journey to this stage of the PGI process had very much been thanks to collaborative government and industry working on both sides of the border.
Colin said, “I would like to acknowledge the positive and collaborative approach taken by colleagues in Bord Bia as we worked through proposed amendments to the original PGI application to ensure that Northern Ireland was included in the geographic scope of the application.
“I must also acknowledge the broad support from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that has resulted in the Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI application successfully making it to the point of registration.
“As the PGI application progresses through its final stage LMC will continue to work with stakeholders to secure resource to develop the processes that need to be put in place to enable its use once registered.”