Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) President, Tim Cullinan, has warned that a PGI status for Irish beef “must deliver a price premium for farmers”.
Mr Cullinan’s comments came as the final version of the PGI application for Irish Grass Fed Beef was submitted to the European Commission (EC) by Bord Bia.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, announced publication of the final version of the application earlier today and pointed to the “detailed process” that must now be carried out by the EC.
“I know that there is a detailed process which must now be completed by the EC in evaluating this application,” he added.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Mr Cullinan pointed to how farmers had created the brand, in the first instance, through their grass-fed animals, and therefore, “it is farmers that must see the return”.
“A fundamental aspect of the agreement for the PGI application is the development of a farmer controlled suckler brand, with a budget of €6m, that will recognise the additional value in beef from suckler farms.
“The Department and Bord Bia must now move immediately to develop the suckler beef brand, to go alongside the PGI application, as agreed with IFA.”
Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said that, if granted, the PGI status would provide a “valuable means” to bolstering the reputation of Irish beef and unlock a range of market advantages to benefit Irish beef farmers.
“This submission is timely, and 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,” she added.
“I thank all those involved in crafting and fine-tuning this robust submission and eagerly await the decision of the Commission.”