Progress on establishing a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish grass-fed beef has stalled after opposition from the UK, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has confirmed.
As revealed by the Irish Farmers Journal last month, the UK lodged its opposition submission to the PGI on 1 March.
Minister McConalogue said on Friday that following its scrutiny of a submission by the UK, the European Commission has invited both parties to engage in appropriate consultations and to inform the Commission of the results of these consultations.
An opposition procedure which allows an EU or third country to oppose an application for PGI status was launched in December 2021 and ended in March 2022.
The application for Irish grass-fed beef was for the Republic of Ireland only and did not include beef from Northern Ireland.
“My Department along with Bord Bia are currently examining the reasoned statement of opposition submitted by the UK,” the minister said.
“For some time now, my Department and Bord Bia have fully engaged with their counterparts in Northern Ireland to share information and provide advice on the technical aspects of a grass-fed standard and related matters associated with the possibility of having an all-island PGI for Irish grass-fed beef.
“I welcome the opportunity now for both parties to engage to progress and finalise this work,” he said.
The minister said the Commission has not been advised of any other opposition to the application, adding that he is “hopeful” that the engagement between both parties can be progressed quickly.
What is a PGI?
EU quality policy aims to protect the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how.
Product names can be granted a ‘geographical indication’ (GI) if they have a specific link to the place where they are made. The GI recognition enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products while also helping producers to market their products better.
Bord Bia is the applicant for a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish grass-fed beef and the Department of Agriculture is the competent authority.