Irish beef gets green light for special US marketing

The approval comes after three years of engagement

Irish beef gets green light for special US marketing

Beef on display for sale in Dublin | Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/PA Images

Irish beef is to be sold in the United States as a premium brand.

It means that meat from selected farms here can be stamped with the official United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seal of approval.

The seal of approval has been given to 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 approval is the culmination of three years of engagement with USDA and last week’s visit by the USDA to Ireland.

Bord Bia say the decision ensures Irish beef sold in the USA can provide a further guarantee to buyers and consumers that the unique claims Bord Bia makes are validated by their own national authority.

The announcement came following a meeting involving the USDA, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Bord Bia Tara Mc Carthy on day one of a trade mission to the United States.

Following the meeting, 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 added: "Bord Bia has worked hard to ensure that this application was a success and approval now allows us to bring our message closer to the US consumer.

"Earning the trust of the USDA after such a rigorous process will also enhance Ireland’s reputation in other markets and Bord Bia will maximise all opportunities this enhanced creditability may present."

Bord Bia is to increase its presence at trade shows and food fairs in the US to facilitate promotion of its new marketing drive, and to introduce Irish exporters to potential customers.