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Working to create niche markets for Irish beef

There is clearly a number of farmers and farmer groups who see the need for developing premium beef products to enhance farm incomes on the typical small-scale family farm and this initiative is very timely and very much what many family farms will need to support their incomes.

 

The most significant aspect of the project will be a new quality and origin designation scheme for traditionally-reared suckler beef. The baseline scheme will have similarities to the premium-level French 'Label Rouge' scheme and it will have its own set of rules and regulations. Membership of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme is likely to be required or at least recommended.

 

The project will then have a multi-label structure to accommodate the inclusion of a number of more specific beef products. These may relate to being 100% 'grass-fed', meat qualities, the use of heritage breeds and/or because production is integrated with the conservation needs of a specific high-nature-value landscape. The use of multiple labels will mimic that used for French beef products where a product can be a part of the 'Label Rouge' scheme, a more 'in-depth' appellation d'origine contrôlée and qualify for one of the three EU protected origin designations.

 

The suckler-beef project is to be developed in parallel with route-to-market and local processing initiatives. These are discussed elsewhere on the Irish Family Farming Foundation’s website.

 

For further information on this project and how it is progressing please contact us.

Working to create niche markets for sheep meat

This the twin project to the suckler beef project. They have been designed together to have a common approach; thus to simplify them in the minds of both the farmers and the consumers.

 

As with the suckler beef project, the project be built upon a new quality and origin designation scheme for traditionally-reared Irish lamb [and less traditional older sheep-meat products]. The baseline scheme will also have similarities to the premium-level French 'Label Rouge' scheme and it will again have its own set of rules and regulations. Membership of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme is likely to be required/recommended to maintain non-scheme market access.

 

The project will then have a multi-label structure to accommodate the inclusion of a number of more specific lamb products. A second ‘tier’ will be an Irish Hill Lamb designation that will allow all such designated hill lamb to be marketed together as well as under its own [when available] more specific label. The latter will almost certainly relate to the hill-farming region of origin. That may in turn also be related to the stewardship of high-nature-value farmlands and/or renown landscapes.

 

Further scheme labels may relate to being 100% 'grass-fed', finishing sheep at older ages and/or the use of heritage breeds [albeit this is likely to be much more limited than with beef cattle].

 

Again, the use of multiple labels will mimic that used for French sheep-meat products where a product can be a part of the premium-products 'Label Rouge' scheme, a yet-more-enhanced-quality Label Rouge scheme, a more 'in-depth' appellation d'origine contrôlée and also qualify for an EU protected origin designation [that is potentially four different quality and origin labels].

 

The sheep quality and origin scheme project is also to be developed in parallel with the route-to-market and local processing initiatives presented elsewhere on the Foundation’s website.

 

For further information on this project and how it is progressing please contact us.

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