Beef farmers are staging a protest this evening outside the Lidl supermarket in Ballinasloe in Co Galway.

The protest, which is organised by the IFA, involves over 50 tractors and hundreds of farmers.

It represents an intensification of the farmers' campaign against price and specification cuts imposed by retailers and factories.

The farmers have chained up the trolleys at the Lidl supermarket in an attempt to disrupt normal business.

It is the second supermarket protest organised by the IFA in the past week.

Last Thursday a similar protest took place at the Tesco Extra superstore in Naas, Co Kildare.

IFA President Eddie Downey warned all the major retailers, including SuperValu, Dunnes, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, that the anger and frustration of farmers is at boiling point over price and specification cuts which he said have severely damaged farm incomes and the beef sector.

He said that farmers expect Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to take a much more hands-on approach in tackling the issues at the heart of the beef crisis.

It is expected that the IFA campaign highlighting the role of the supermarkets in generating the difficulties that farmers now face will continue, and that further supermarkets will be targeted for protests in the days ahead.