The Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for Irish grass fed beef has completed all stages of scrutiny, and registration is expected to be finalized by mid-December, Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said on November 24.
PGI identifies a product originating in a specific place, region, or country and whose given quality, reputation, or other characteristic is essentially attributable to its defined area of origin.
According to its PGI documentation, Irish Grass Fed Beef is the name given to fresh and frozen bone-in and boneless beef, including carcasses, quarters, bone-in cuts, boneless primal, minced beef of those cuts, and retail packs.
Irish Grass Fed Beef has low overall fat levels, an even distribution of fat (as intermuscular marbling); a pronounced cherry-red meat color; and a high degree of creaminess/yellowness of fat. It has a rich, complex, grassy, succulent, and juicy meat with a true beefy flavor and is tender.
The PGI recognition will apply to naturally grazing cattle in both the Republic and Northern Ireland.
Charlie McConalogue, Ireland's Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, commented: “I am delighted that the European Commission has confirmed that a major milestone has been reached in our grass-fed PGI application.
"They are now undertaking the final procedural steps to adopt and register ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ as a cross-border PGI, a process which I understand will conclude in a matter of weeks.
"This is tremendous news and is a huge endorsement of the qualities and sustainability of our grass-fed beef. "
The Minister added: “A PGI status for Irish Grass Fed Beef will help to bring enhanced recognition of the sustained efforts and know-how of our farmers and processors to produce a quality grass fed beef product.
"Once this PGI is formally adopted and registered it’ll be important that the marketing opportunities of this recognition are harnessed and the benefits of our grass-fed beef can be communicated to the discerning consumer who value quality and sustainability.
"As a next step, My Department will be engaging with Bord Bia on the establishment of a PGI monitoring group in anticipation of the conclusion of the process.”
Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia Chief Executive, commented: “This is very positive news from the Commission.
"Achieving PGI status for Irish grass fed beef has been a long-held ambition for the Irish beef industry.
"Bord Bia has been preparing for PGI status over several years, from submitting the application to conducting market intelligence to best understand attitudes to PGIs.
"We have marketing plans in development for PGI Grass Fed Irish Beef and will leverage this opportunity for the benefit of Irish beef farmers and the wider beef sector.”
Ireland has eight registered PDO/PGI food product names: Clare Island Salmon (PGI), Imokilly Regato (PDO), Timoleague Brown Pudding (PGI), Connemara Hill Lamb (PGI), Waterford Blaa (PGI), Oriel Sea Salt (PDO), Oriel Sea Minerals (PDO), and Sneem Black Pudding (PGI).
Meanwhile, Ireland's Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine announced last week the launch of national opposition procedure for PGI of Certified Irish Angus Beef.