Bord Bia gains approval to market Irish beef as premium branded product in the US

Bord Bia has announced that they will be able to market Irish beef as "Irish grass-fed beef" after approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Bord Bia said the approval is the culmination of three years of engagement with USDA and it will enable them to advertise the unique qualities of Irish beef in the US.

    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 after a meeting between the USDA, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed, and Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia on the first day of a trade mission to the United States.

Minister Creed said: "I am extremely pleased that we have received the green light to proceed with a measure which has the potential to add significant value to our beef offering to the US. 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 our 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."

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said: "Earning the trust of the USDA after such a rigorous process will also enhance Ireland’s reputation in other markets.

"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 PVP and be independently audited."

Speaking to US meat buyers and government officials from the US and Ireland in Washington tonight Ms McCarthy said Bord Bia had carried out "significant consumer insight work" in their beef strategy.

She said: "Our consumer research identified the opportunity to position Irish beef as a premium branded beef, with the look and texture of grass-fed beef but with a new taste that US consumers are looking for.

"Our green environment is a real point of difference, and within the US market, Ireland is well-known as green and natural, while the US consumer increasingly demands grass-fed meat products."

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