Offaly/North Tipperary TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has said the US Government approval of the unique, high quality of Irish Beef is great news for local beef farmers.
“The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the proposal to advertise the unique qualities of Irish beef in the United States. This decision will accelerate its activities with beef buyers and retailers and bring its message closer to the US consumer," she explained.
“The USDA seal of approval has now been given to the claims that Irish beef is:
· More than 80% grass diet· From farms participating in Bord Bia’s Origin Green Sustainability Scheme
· Fully traceable from farm to fork
· From quality assured farms and processing systems
· Pasture for more than 6/7/8 months per year
· Raised on family farms
· Raised without the use of growth hormones
· Treated responsibly with use of antibiotics
The announcement came following a meeting involving the USDA, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and Tara Mc Carthy, CEO, Bord Bia, on day one of the trade mission to the United States.
“Our beef is rated as among the best in the world in terms of quality. This decision by the US Government is a real boost to our beef farmers here in Offaly/North Tipperary," Corcoran Kennedy remarked.
“The Quality Assurance and animal movement systems we have in Ireland are among the finest in the world. This enables to collect a vast amount of information in our farm audits. This is key to backing up our claims and demonstrating the quality of our product."
“The claims we make to US customers are independently verifiable at farm and animal level and the Irish beef exporters who wish to use these marketing claims must comply with the requirements of the USDA Process Verified Program and be independently audited."
Irish beef processors will now have the opportunity to market their produce as ‘Irish Grass Fed Beef’ subject to adherence to the verification process. Such a marketing tool will allow beef exporters pursue the Premium US beef market and will boost Irish beef exports to the US which will be crucial in terms of Brexit mitigation, according to the Offaly deputy.
“The primary focus of Fine Gael in Government in the agri-food and fisheries sectors is to maintain ambition for sustainable growth and creating a supportive environment for primary producers and industry to deliver on those ambitions. Foodwise 2025 aims to increase the value of exports in the agri-food sector to €19bn by 2025," she concluded.
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