The term naturally reared must be included by Bord Bia in the promotion of suckler beef, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has said.

Association president Colm O’Donnell stressed that the organisation has, for some time, recognised the need to include the term naturally reared in order to provide a marketing distinction in EU and UK markets.

O’Donnell continued: “This was initially included in our 10-point plan for the suckler industry launched in July 2019 and was subsequently accepted by all stakeholders at the beef taskforce.”

Consistent communication

The INHFA has voiced disappointment in a recent Bord Bia survey which revealed the word suckler is not recognised by many European consumers.

O’Donnell suggests that if the survey had been conducted using the term ‘naturally reared suckler beef’, there would have been higher recognition of the type of beef on offer.

“It is in the best interests of our suckler farmers and the integrity of the stakeholder committee that the words naturally reared are included in all communications that refer to our suckler brand,” O’Donnell said.

“Consumers value and recognise the visual concept of naturally reared and this is why Bord Bia needs to ensure consistency in its communication on any suckler beef brand.”

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