It is understood that sufficient progress has been made to allow talks between farming groups and representatives of the meat sector to move on to the next stage on Monday.

The talks are in relation to a dispute between farming representatives and the meat industry over prices and other issues.

A document seen by RTÉ News reveals consideration is being given to farmers' demands for more transparency around the weight of meat and more certainty on the price agreed between farmers and the factory.

Twelve hours of talks took place last Monday to try to resolve the issues that had seen protests outside meat factories throughout the country.

Separately, the Department of Agriculture is to begin a consultation process to consider whether there is a requirement for an independent grocery regulator.

The information is contained in the document which details issues discussed between farming groups and representatives of the meat sector during this week's talks.

Farmers' groups believe an independent regulator is needed to police retailers.

They say retailers are taking too much of the final consumer price and they say there is not enough of a margin for farmers.

Earlier, the General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association called for more transparency over what money is being made along the food chain.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Miriam O'Callaghan, Eddie Punch said that while there was engagement on a lot of "bugbear issues" at the talks on Monday, a lot of the focus was on technical details.

He said that farmers feel that every year they are getting less and less of what is being paid by the consumer, adding that we have to shine a light on this.

Mr Punch said issues such as the Beef Grid, a grading system which determines how much farmers are paid for their cattle, has long been a bone of contention.

He also said the 30-month limit, where cattle that are over 30 months of age do not qualify for bonuses that quality assured cattle should be getting, is causing immense frustration for farmers.

"Farmers have put massive effort into quality assurance and being really good farmers and they are getting hit with price reductions on a regular basis from factories," he said.

He said this whole area is going to be reviewed in detail.

However, Mr Punch added that this does not change the fact that there are bigger, long-term issues in terms of difficulties in the market place.

"The price is below the cost of production and farmers feel they are not getting a fair share of the final retail price paid by the consumer," he said. 

"There is no transparency over this but there is a sense that retailers and processors take all the profit while farmers do all of the work."