Ministers celebrate Irish Beef receiving PGI status

Ministers celebrate Irish Beef receiving PGI status

Ministers of the Irish Government have hosted an event in Donegal to mark the registration of Irish Grass Fed Beef as an all island Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).

The PGI award is given to products from a specified geographical area and have particular features attributable to that area.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD and Minster for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland Andrew Muir MLA hosted the joint event and were joined by Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), the applicants for the PGI on behalf of producers and processors.

McConalogue said: “I would like to congratulate the applicants Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission who have achieved this on behalf of producers and processors across the island. The collaboration between my Department, Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 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.

“Visiting this excellent beef farm here in Donegal today is a reminder of the quality and sustainability of Irish beef and why it is in such demand around the world. The primary produce from Irish farmers that goes into creating our internationally respected quality food is the backbone of our agri-food sector.

“Securing the PGI status is recognition of these premium standards. I look forward to seeing these PGI products on European supermarket shelves and continuing to tell the story of Irish farming to an international audience.”

Promoting Irish PGI products

Five products from the Republic of Ireland have been awarded the PGI status, including Timoleague Brown Pudding, Connemara Hill Lamb and Sneem Black Pudding.

Minister Muir commented: “The granting of Geographical Indication status for Irish Grass Fed Beef places it on the same pedestal as world-renowned products such as Champagne, Parma Ham, Roquefort Cheese and, of course Irish Whiskey.

“Having a Protected Geographical Indication is a triumph, a recognition of how the unique climate, landscape and practices of a region translates into food and drink, bestowing them with a distinctive taste and character. It is wonderful that the pedigree of Irish Grass Fed Beef has achieved this level of international recognition and an accolade to the hard working agriculture industry.”

Jim O’Toole, CEO of Bord Bia, stated: “Shortly, with support from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia will launch a campaign to promote Irish grass-fed beef with PGI status across our main European markets. Initially, we will focus on the Italian market which has been identified as having the highest recognition of products with PGI status.

“Our planned marketing activities include a trade campaign, a pilot consumer campaign, and engagement with chefs, influencers, and relevant media to build the awareness and understanding of our grass-fed production methods.

“Following a review of initial campaign activity, we will build our approach focusing on markets and customers offering the best premium potential for Irish farmers and processors. Based on our in-depth research of market potential for PGI, this will likely include markets such as Belgium, Switzerland, France and Germany.”

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