The Government is to seek EU approval to grant "Irish Grass Fed Beef" special status under the Union's Protected Geographical Indication Status. 

If approved it will mean that Irish grass fed beef will have protected status and cannot be replicated anywhere else. 

The Waterford Blaa was granted the status in 2013. 

The Minister for Agriculture has confirmed that the application has been submitted by Bord Bia and follows a period of discussions and engagement with food processors, farming organisations and a host of people involved in the agri-food sector. 

Charlie McConalogue said that having special PGI status granted would have benefits for everyone in the supply chain, adding that the status would be of particular benefit to the primary producer "at this critical time for the Irish beef sector." 

The CEO of Bord Bia said the special status would help combat some of the negative effects of Brexit on the beef sector. 

Tara McCarthy said it would also "be a valuable means of bolstering the reputation of Irish beef and unlock a range of market advantages to benefit Irish beef farmers." 

Under the application submitted for approval, "Irish Grass Fed Beef" will be the name given to quality Irish beef from cattle raised on a grass-based diet on pasture grazing farms in Ireland.

The cattle must derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass and spend a minimum of 220 days per year throughout their lifetime grazing pasture, in accordance with the Bord Bia Grass Fed Standard. 

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The scheme also recommends that the status would be supported by the Irish Government on an "all-island basis" if, and when, there is a grass fed verification system in place in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Agriculture has also said that the European Commission will be advised "of strong views expressed during the National Opposition Procedure, that grass-fed young bulls should be included, when further data on this cohort is available to support this".

The submission from the Government will now be scrutinised by the EU Commissions before a decision to grant or deny status is made. The process can last up to six months, or longer. 

The IFA President has welcomed confirmation that the application has been made. But Tim Cullinan said the scheme must deliver a "price premium" for farmers.