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Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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PGI application for Irish Grass Fed Beef published

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The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., today announced the publication of the final version of the PGI application for Irish Grass Fed Beef submitted by Bord Bia.

Minister McConalogue stated, “Following detailed scrutiny, my Department has determined that the application is in order to be submitted to the European Commission.”

“I want to thank all the stakeholders, including the members of the Beef TaskForce, who have engaged in this process and have helped progress the application to this stage. I know that there is a detailed process which must now be completed by the European Commission in evaluating this application.”

PGI application for Irish Grass-Fed Beef

“However, I will be emphasising to Commissioner Wojciechowski that PGI status for our unique quality, Irish grass-fed beef, would have benefits for all those in the supply chain, principally the primary producer, at this critical time for the Irish beef sector.”

If the PGI is successfully registered, a PGI Monitoring Group will be established to report to the Beef Taskforce on progress on a regular basis, with a “majority farmer representation”.

The minister said that he will continue to engage with Minister Edwin Poots and his stakeholders in Northern Ireland to pursue an all-island PGI status.

Measures in Budget 2021 for farmers
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Concluding, Minister McConalogue said: “This is the latest measure by me and my Department to strengthen and enhance the beef sector.”

“I have secured €6m in funding in Budget 2021 for the marketing and branding of suckler-based brand.”

“Last week, we paid out over €46m through the Beef Finisher Payment  while a further €85m has been secured as part of Budget 2021 to support sustainable beef farming.”

“These measures include €40m for the rollover of the BDGP, a further €40m for BEEP and €5m for the calf weighing scheme. These come on top of the €76m BEAM scheme which issued in 2019 and the first BDGP scheme which concluded recently.”

Benefit Irish beef farmers 

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy commented, “If granted, the grass-fed Irish beef PGI will be a valuable means of bolstering the reputation of Irish beef and unlock a range of market advantages to benefit Irish beef farmers.”

“This submission is timely as, if successful, the PGI will help strengthen the toolkit available to us to combat the negative effects of Brexit on our beef industry, particularly given the awareness and resonance of PGIs in key Continental markets.”

“I thank all those involved in crafting and fine-tuning this robust submission and eagerly await the decision of the Commission.”

Requirements

Irish grass-fed beef is the name given to quality Irish beef from cattle raised on a grass-based diet on pasture grazing farms in Ireland, which derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass.

The animals spend a minimum of 220 days per year throughout their lifetime grazing pasture in accordance with the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard.

Since the publication of the National Opposition Procedure, following feedback from stakeholders including the Beef Task Force, a number of minor amendments and clarifications were made to the application.

In addition, the European Commission will be advised:

  • Of strong views expressed during the National Opposition Procedure, that grass-fed young bulls should be included, when further data on this cohort is available to support this;
  • Of Ireland’s support for the PGI being extended on an all-island basis, when a grass-fed verification system is in place in Northern Ireland.

The application and specification can be found here. Any natural or legal person, having a legitimate interest and resident in Ireland, may appeal the decision on the application by submitting their appeal grounds to PGIappeals@agriculture.gov.ie

Appeals must be submitted before 3 pm on Tuesday, December 8th, 2020.

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