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Minister McConalogue welcomes European Commission invitation to engage with UK on PGI application for Irish Grass Fed Beef

Charlie McConalogue T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, announced today that, following its scrutiny of a submission by the United Kingdom to the EU/third country opposition procedure for the Irish Grass Fed Beef PGI application, the European Commission has invited both parties to engage in appropriate consultations and to inform the Commission of the results of these consultations.

Minister McConalogue said:

"My Department along with An Bord Bia are currently examining the reasoned statement of opposition submitted by the UK. For some time now, my Department and An Bord Bia have fully engaged with their counterparts in Northern Ireland to share information and provide advice on the technical aspects of a grass fed standard and related matters associated with the possibility of having an all island PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef. I welcome the opportunity now for both parties to engage to progress and finalise this work.”

Minister Mc Conalogue added:

“The PGI application and product specification has been subject to scrutiny by the European Commission, EU Member States and third countries. The European Commission has not been advised of any other opposition. I believe that the success in getting the application to this stage of the process demonstrates the quality of the product specification that was drafted by Bord Bia in consultation with my officials and which took account of engagement with our farming representative bodies through our national opposition procedure.”                     

Minister Mc Conalogue concluded:

“I am hopeful that the engagement between both parties can be progressed quickly. I am excited to see the Irish Grass Fed Beef come to fruition for the benefit of our beef farmers on the island."

Notes for Editors:

EU quality policy aims to protect the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how. Product names can be granted a 'geographical indication' (GI) if they have a specific link to the place where they are made. The GI recognition enables consumers to trust and distinguish quality products while also helping producers to market their products better.

An Bord Bia is the applicant for a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for Irish Grass Fed Beef and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine is the Competent Authority.  

In August 2020 a national opposition procedure was held for the PGI application for Irish Grass-Fed Beef.  In November 2020, the DAFM lodged the application single document and product specification document with the European Commission.

In May 2021, the European Commission responded to the IE application with technical queries. Between June 2021 and October 2021, the DAFM responded to the European Commission queries, following which, on 8  December 2021, the Commission published the PGI application for the ‘EU/third country opposition procedure’. This consultation ended on 8 March 2022.

On 1 March 2022, the EU Commission notified this Department that the UK authorities had submitted  a ‘Notice of Opposition’. A letter from the European Commission received by the Department on 14 April 2022

-        invites the applicant and the opponent to engage in appropriate consultations for a period of three months from the date of this letter.

-        to inform the Commission of the results of these consultations.