Moves by meat factories to undermine trade are not justified, as the latest beef market tracker show prices in our key export markets remain strong and steady, increasing by 1c/kg in the last week, the IFA has said.

IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden has said that cattle numbers are tight and supermarket demand remains strong for beef.

He said: “Factories cannot justify dropping prices when the prime export benchmark price, compiled by Bord Bia, continues to show strengthening prices in our key markets for beef.

'Unacceptable'

“In our meeting with MII earlier this week, we left the industry representative body in no doubt that this approach by factories is unacceptable.

“Beef farmers have reacted angrily to this move by factories at a time when production costs are at their highest on beef farms.”

Golden said despite some factories quoting lower, base prices of €3.75/kg and €3.80/kg have been paid by factories this week for suitable bullocks and heifers.