“Our people may be British but our cows are Irish…”

At Slugger, we are big supporters of recycling, so forgive me for using this headline originally used by Mick in 2009. From Mick’s original post:

Jonathan Powell has some brief thoughts on the significance of the mutual membership of the EU for Ireland and the UK:

The border between Ireland and the UK just came to mean much less once we were both in the EU. This was particularly brought home to me when Ian Paisley, the fire-breathing DUP leader, came to see Tony Blair in the midst of the 2005 Foot and Mouth crisis in the UK and in an attempt to take advantage of the looser restrictions on movement of cattle in the south than in the north said, “Our people may be British but our cows are Irish”.

15 years later, in the post-Brexit world, the BBC has a story on Farming Celebration as Irish grass-fed beef gets all-Ireland EU status. From the story:

An event to celebrate Irish grass-fed beef getting special EU recognition is to be held later in Lifford in the Republic of Ireland.

The protected geographical indication (PGI) designation will apply on an all-island basis.

It is an indicator of a premium product which helps sell the product in continental markets.

Cattle included in the status must spend at least 220 days a year on pasture.

They must also derive at least 90% of their feed intake from grass.

Only certain higher-grade beef animals are eligible.

Beef joins three other products to share all-island PGI status – Irish Poítín, Irish cream and Irish whiskey.

New generation ’embracing’ the ancient but notorious spirit
Three other products from Northern Ireland are registered: Comber New Potatoes, Armagh Bramley Apples and Lough Neagh Eels.

The Republic of Ireland has five products with the award: Clare Island Salmon, Timoleague Brown Pudding, Connemara Hill Lamb, Waterford Blaa and Sneem Black Pudding.

The PGI award is open to products which must be produced, processed or prepared within the specified geographical area and have particular features, qualities or a reputation attributable to that area.

The Northern Ireland minister for agriculture, environment and rural affairs will join the agriculture, food and the marine minister for the Irish government at the event in Lifford.

It will be the first time Andrew Muir and Charlie McConalogue have met since taking up office.

Mr Muir said the process of getting protected status had been “an amazing success” which ensured farmers across the island got the recognition they deserved.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme, Mr Muir said the status would help with “profiling our industry to a global audience”.

He added that achieving the status was a testament to “cross border co-operation”.

Most of our local companies have voted with their wallets on the identity issue and choose to market their products as Irish as they know it is better for sales.

Thanks to Patrick Murdoch for the tip.



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