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LMC supports all-island Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI

Ian Stevenson, chief executive, LMC.

Implementation of the first step towards gaining Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status for all-island Irish Grass Fed Beef has been welcomed by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) for Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is running of a national opposition procedure in relation to the PGI application.

A national opposition procedure must be undertaken before an application can be submitted to the European Commission, with DAFM running a consultation until Friday, September 11.

“Irish Grass Fed Beef is a name and a product which is very familiar to producers and processors of quality beef raised on a grass based diet on pasture grazing farms throughout the island of Ireland from Ballintoy to Bantry,” said Ian Stevenson, chief executive, LMC.

“The reputation of grass-fed beef from our farms has long been known by a wide range of customers in many markets who seek the consistent quality, taste and appearance that comes with the product. Registration of Irish Grass Fed Beef with a PGI status is something that would be welcomed by industry stakeholders as well-earned recognition for a quality and geographically distinct product.

“The development of the application for registration of Irish Grass Fed Beef is currently being progressed by an applicant group (Bord Bia) in the Republic of Ireland and as interested parties we have been engaging with our farming and processing stakeholders in Northern Ireland about the geographic scope of the PGI. Currently the geographic scope in the proposed application to the European Commission is limited to the Member State area of Ireland.

“LMC has owned, on behalf of the Northern Ireland beef and sheep industry, the community trademark for Greenfields for many years and the Irish Grass Fed origin of the product on sale throughout the Benelux Countries under this brand has long been served by supply chains with beef from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“We also have many processing businesses operating in Northern Ireland who for many years have marketed our beef to customers as Irish Grass Fed Beef and it is imperative that any registration of the name Irish Grass Fed Beef as a PGI must not lead to the exclusion of our locally produced beef which can readily meet the same specification and description.

“The applicant group and responsible department in the Republic of Ireland are both fully aware of Northern Ireland’s legitimate interest in participating in, or joining, the application for registration of a PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef and we look forward to further constructive engagement with industry and officials on both sides of the border as the very sound case to register a PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef is developed.”

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