Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue and Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs of Northern Ireland, Andrew Muir are today (Friday, March 1) hosting a joint event in Co. Donegal to mark the registration of ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ as an all-island protected geographical indication (PGI).

The ministers will be joined by Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission, the applicants for the PGI on behalf of producers and processors.

‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ includes cattle that derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass. This is primarily grazed grass, with winter feeding of silage and hay.


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.

The PGI symbol will also help consumers to identify ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ products in key export markets.

The adoption of the status for Ireland, as a whole, was published in the EU’s Official Journal – the publication for EU legal acts – in November.

Minister Charlie McConalogue
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue

Speaking while on a visit to a beef farm in his home county of Donegal, Minister McConalogue said that today was a “very positive” day for Irish farmers and Irish beef.

“The primary produce from Irish farmers that goes into creating our internationally respected quality food is the backbone of our agri-food sector. Securing the PGI status is recognition of these premium standards,” he said.

Minister McConalogue praised the collaboration between the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Bord Bia and the Livestock and Meat Commission.

The minister said the partnership “is reflective of the valuable and ongoing north-south co-operation on agricultural matters and our positive engagements in the interests of farmers and processors across the island”.

Irish Grass Fed Beef

Minister Andrew Muir said that the granting of PGI status for ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ places it on the same level as world-renowned products like Champagne, Parma Ham, Roquefort Cheese and Irish Whiskey.

“The whole process has been an amazing success, not only by ensuring farmers north and south get the recognition they deserve, but in developing strong working relationships between government bodies north, south, east and west.

“I hope these relationships are further developed in any future all-island GI applications,” he said.

It has also been confirmed that Bord Bia, with support from DAFM, will shortly launch a campaign to promote Irish Grass Fed Beef in our main European markets.

“Initially, we will focus on the Italian market which has been identified as having the highest recognition of products with PGI status.

“Our planned marketing activities include a trade campaign, a pilot consumer campaign, and engagement with chefs, influencers, and relevant media to build the awareness and understanding of our grass-fed production methods,” Jim O’Toole, chief executive of Bord Bia said.

The campaign will also likely include markets such as Belgium, Switzerland, France and Germany.