North must be included in bid for Protected Geographical Indication status for Irish beef - McAleer
Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said that the north must be included in the bid for Protected Geographical Indication status for Irish beef.
The party’s agriculture spokesperson was speaking after attending a meeting with Bord Bia along with his southern counterpart Matt Carthy TD to discuss the issue.
Declan McAleer said:
“Sinn Féin wants Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) designation for our grass-fed Irish beef on the island of Ireland.
“PGI status would provide legal protection to agriculture products that have particular characteristics connected to their place of origin.
“The bid for inclusion in the PGI is supported by key stakeholders such as the Ulster Farmers Union and Livestock and Meat Commission who have been engaging with Bord Bia and I understand that it may require a joint bid with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the north to be included.
“Our farmers deserve this opportunity to position our local beef on the international stage as uniquely distinctive and of world beating quality and I believe that whatever mechanisms have to be put in place to have the north included should be put in place.
"In the context of Brexit and the real possibility of the British market prices collapsing due to trade deals with other countries, our farmers need every help they can get to maximise other markets.
“My colleague Matt Carthy TD will be raising this issue in the Dáil and with the new Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue.
“I have requested a meeting with Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots and have raised the subject at the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs committee this week.”