Around 60 members of the Irish Farmers' Association protested today at some of the main supermarket chains over the price being paid to beef and lamb producers.

They said retailers and processors are making profits as a result of what they describe as "excessive price cuts" to livestock farmers. 

A delegation of farmers, led by IFA Deputy President Tim O'Leary, protested at branches of Dunnes Stores, Tesco and Super Valu in Galway this afternoon. 

Mr O'Leary said retailers had a responsibility to ensure producers were paid a viable price to cover production costs and leave them with a reasonable profit margin.

The IFA contends that beef prices have been cut by up to 20% since this time last year, which amounts to a cut of over €300 per animal.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said these cuts had left beer farmers facing severe financial losses.

Mr Burns called on Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to tackle both the meat factories and the retailers and insist they honour the agreement they had with farmers on the Quality Payment System. 

Mr Burns added that severe cuts to beef prices has left the sector in an unviable position going forward.

The IFA added that lamb prices have been cut from €5.70 per kilo to €4.80 in the last two weeks.

This amounts to a drop of around €20 per lamb sold according to the Association, which it says has a detrimental impact on its members margins.