'PGI status must apply to suckler beef only'


'Grass-fed is a definition to loose to impose'

'PGI status must apply to suckler beef only'

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  • 29 days ago

'Grass-fed is a definition to loose to impose'

Leader of the newly formed organisation Ireland's Future has said that PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status must only apply to naturally produced suckler beef.
Gerry Loftus made the statement following last week's meeting between beef industry stakeholders where the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Bord Bia confirmed that they will progress engagement with the European Commission on the development of a (PGI) status for Irish grass-fed beef. Bord Bia will seek EU funding of €3m to deliver a promotion campaign for suckler beef in key European markets.
Grass-fed beef

Commissioner Hogan recently stressed that a "quality Irish beef application cannot refer to all beef produced in Ireland".

He outlined that EU quality designations are not only an indication of provenance and geographic origin. They are, he said, built on the reputation and quality of a specific product.

"My question is why would Bord Bia promote suckler beef when the protection is being sought for grass-fed beef?" Loftus said.

"The perception of grass-fed is that it is more environmentally friendly, but the majority of dairy beef is finished off grass because dairy cattle have much slower growth rates."

"Grass-fed is a definition to loose to impose; EG grass-fed butter is now being challenged in America," he added.

Ireland's Future's leader believes that suckler beef - that is naturally reared - is much more environmentally friendly, has a lower carbon footprint and deserves a niche market."

Calf registration

Loftus is of the opinion that the current system of calf registration is "flawed and has to be scrapped".

"Every cow in this country other than pure breeds is marked with an 'X' on the birth certificate. The breed of dam and sire should be clearly identified on the card so that the product is clearly identified."

"This information should then transfer to the label to make the product fully identifiable."

CAP

Loftus went on to say that a proposal to keep the current payment system on CAP is "totally unacceptable and that the inequality in CAP payments must be addressed as a matter of urgency".

"Nearly twenty years after the introduction of CAP and we are still talking about upper limits and productive as a means to justify the imbalance and unfairness can no longer be tolerated."

"Instead, we must start at the bottom and bring the 55000 farmers on less than €6,000 up to the minimum wage; these farmers farm the most valuable land for carbon sequestration and climate change and must be protected," he concluded.

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