The Beef Plan Movement, a farming representative group, has commenced protests outside retail distribution centres owned by big retailers.

The group says the Department of Agriculture has confirmed that retailers will not be involved in Monday's planned talks on the future of the beef industry.

Retailers are being blamed for a number of restrictions in the sector, including an age limit of 30 months on cattle being slaughtered.

There are other restrictions in place on the number of times a farmer can move cattle from their lands.

Some retailers are insisting on the measures say Meat Industry Ireland, which represents meat processors.

In a statement, the Beef Plan Movement said that retailers should be in attendance at Monday's talks.

They also state that distribution centres belonging to German retailer Lidl will not be targeted as part of the action, because they say Lidl has confirmed they do not require many of the restrictions, in particular the 30-month rule on beef they purchase here.

The protests at distribution centres could impact supermarkets ability to restock stores, with a potential impact on product availability.

There is no indication so far of the scale of the protests planned.

Talks on the future of the beef sector are due to reconvene tomorrow morning.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said that legal action by meat companies will have to cease and blockades of meat plants be lifted for meaningful talks to begin.

These weekend blockades continue at a number of meat processing facilities across the country.

Meanwhile the Beef Plan has issued a public appeal for people to support the protest action it is planning at retail distribution centres.

In a message issued this afternoon the group said that if people do not support the pickets, "the factories and retailers will have won".

The message adds without the action it is planning, "the beef farmer is gone and the dairy farmer is following after them".

The organisation is ramping up its activities as talks on the future of the beef crisis are due to convene tomorrow.