EU member states and third countries can now scrutinise Ireland's Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for Irish grass-fed beef.

It is the next stage of the consultaiton on the PGI application, which was first submitted on behalf of beef farmers in November 2020.

Between May and October 2021, the Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia responded to European Commission queries as part of the commission’s scrutiny of the application and it will now progress to the next phase.

It is hoped the provision of a PGI status will add value to and expand beef export markets, potentially delivering higher prices for Irish farmers in doing so.

Next phase

This latest phase, a three-month consultation procedure, now allows third countries or EU member states who have a “legitimate interest” to lodge a notice of opposition with the Commission.

Such an interjection must be supported by clear reasoning.

The three-month period for opposition may also be extended by the European Commission.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “I welcome that the application has progressed to this stage of the process following the European Commission’s scrutiny.”

Northern Ireland

Minister McConalogue highlighted the possibility of extending the geographical area of the PGI to also include include Northern Ireland.

“My Department and Bord Bia continue to liaise with their counterparts in Northern Ireland, and I understand that the Commission will now be available to join those discussions as needed.

“I am keen to see the PGI application extended on an all-island basis as I believe it can be beneficial to all our beef farmers.”