Irish grass-fed beef granted all-island PGI status

Irish grass-fed beef has been granted special recognition by the EU Commission for its characteristics and geographical origin, giving it similar protection to champagne, Parma ham and Irish whiskey.

Farmers have welcomed the registration of Irish grass-fed beef as an all-island protected geographical indication (PGI) status.

The designation will apply to grazing beef cattle on both sides of the Irish border.

See also: Irish grass fed beef close to PGI protected status in EU

Ireland’s farming minister, Charlie McConalogue, and his counterpart in Northern Ireland, Andrew Muir, hosted a joint event at a beef farm in Donegal on Friday 1 March to celebrate the award.

Mr McConalogue said: “I would like to congratulate the applicants Bord Bia [the Irish food promotion body] and the Livestock and Meat Commission, who have achieved this on behalf of producers and processors on the island.

“The collaboration between my department, Daera [the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs], Defra, Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission is reflective of the valuable and ongoing north-south co-operation on agricultural matters and our positive engagements in the interests of farmers and processors across the island.”

‘Triumph’ for industry

Mr Muir said receiving this level of international recognition for Irish grass-fed beef was a “triumph” and “an accolade to the hardworking agriculture industry”.

PGI status promotes and protects quality agricultural product foodstuffs specific to certain areas in accordance with criteria established by the EU.

In the UK, Defra is the competent authority for geographical indication (GI) schemes that protect the geographical names of food, drink and agricultural products.