The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association has officially lodged an opposition to the current Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) application for Irish Grass fed Beef.
INHFA President Colm O’Donnell, from Sligo, said they were left with no choice in the matter because of the lack of consultation and dabate on the application with suckler farmers who see this grass fed PGI as a threat to their naturally reared product and being driven by processors and the dairy industry.
Mr O Donnell said he has requested that Agriculture Minister and Donegal Td Charlie Conalogue reconvene the Beef Market Taskforce without delay to have a meaningful debate surrounding this PGI application .
e vast majority of all Irish beef comes under the PGI and this must now become a top priority for implementation by the Taskforce to preserve its integrity.
Mr O Donnell recalled that “during our pre budget talks with the Minister for Agriculture, the INHFA had asked for four million euros to be specifically channeled to deliver on this Taskforce commitment to develop a Suckler brand.
A delegation of farmers led by IFA Animal Health Chairmen, John Kingston, (Cork Central) and Derry Scannell, (West Cork) today highlighted farmer anger towards the recently issued Dept of Agriculture’s TB Herd Risk letters. In protest, the delegation burned the letters outside the Department of Agriculture offices in Clonakilty.
Among the first places the issue was highlighted was on Ocean FM, which aired an emotional video from north Leitrim farmer Kevin Comiskey on the issue.
The delegation set out IFA’s demands for a TB programme that tackles the real drivers of TB and reduces the cost burden of controls on farmers and their families.
Local Department officials were asked to make the views of farmers known to senior policymakers in advance of any reconvened TB talks, which the Minister has said will start shortly.
Farmers want the letters withdrawn immediately, and discussions to take place on solving the TB problem.