Farming representative groups have been called back to the Department of Agriculture in Dublin as talks on the beef dispute continue tonight.

RTÉ News understands that a proposal document is to be tabled for consideration.

The document outlines a number of measures which it is hoped will address the concerns of farmers.

It is believed that round table negotiations have not yet been convened.

Talks got underway earlier today with Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed urging those involved to make every effort to reach an agreement.

Cattle slaughtering at blockaded plants has been halted during the talks process.

Some retailers are experiencing beef supply issues and several large processors are struggling to meet big export contracts, as a result of the protests.

Earlier today, Meat Industry Ireland has said that there has been no move to withdraw what it called, "illegal blockades" of meat plants, despite the commencement of talks to resolve the beef dispute.

The group, which represents meat processors, said that it had complied fully with the requests of the Minister to create an environment for talks to take place.

Asked if that could be an impediment to the talks taking place, its Director Cormac Healy said MII would participate in the talks constructively and try to find a resolution to the ongoing dispute.

The Meat Industry delegation included a number of senior figures from meat processing companies at the centre of the ongoing dispute.

The Beef Plan Movement said that the meat industry needs to recognise that Irish farmers play a big role in providing the industry with a world quality product.

Eoin Donnelly, from the group, said until industry recognises that, there will be a "very fraught" meat industry in Ireland.

Speaking after a meeting with Mr Creed earlier today, the group said the minster appears to be "very determined to get a resolution" to the ongoing dispute.

Mr Donnelly said there is no doubt that it is at the forefront of Minister Creed's mind that there needs to be a solution to the problems in the beef sector.

The Beef Plan Movement said there is no one who does not consider the ongoing dispute to be a, "gravely serious issue"

Mr Donnelly said he and his members were giving the talks the benefit of the doubt and they want to get a resolution.

He said if everyone comes to the talks with the same mindset something positive might be achieved.

But, he warned, if they do not, there will continuing "stalemate".

IFA President Joe Healy said the dispute has, "gone on long enough" and meaningful proposals from Meat Industry Ireland and Minister Creed are needed at the talks.

He said farmers need to get back selling stock and factories need to re-open and results must be delivered to achieve both of those things.

Meanwhile, the Independent Farmers of Ireland group has said farmers are not entering the talks "to get rich".

Alison De ver Hunt said the issues to be addressed are not just about price, but also fairness.

She said farmers want a fair price for their product and working below the price of production was not fair. 

The group was formed to represent many of the protesting farmers at factory gates around the country, who are not aligned to the existing farm representative organisations.

The IFOI said the talks were happening at, "the eleventh hour", and it is paramount to get a deal across the line for farmers.

The head of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association meat processors will need to decide whether they "have a commitment to Irish agriculture and Irish beef and Irish jobs".

Edmond Phelan said there needs to be some movement on the key issues otherwise protests at the factory gates will not end. 

Also entering the talks this morning, the Beef Plan Movement said it was optimistic something could be achieved if concert proposals to deal with the price farmers are paid for cattle is on the table.

The president of the organisation representing young farmers said the talks are, "make or break time".

Thomas Duffy of Macra said if there is nothing positive from today's talks, he does not know where the industry is going to go in the future and the potential to lose markets is real, especially given the proximity of Brexit.