A new online tool to record the price farmers are paid for cattle has been launched.

The Bord Bia Beef Market Tracking Tool improves price transparency and was one of the measures agreed during talks on the future of the beef sector which concluded in September.

The tool compares prices back as far as 2014.

It is based on three components - cattle price index, beef market price index and an offal indicator.

Struggling beef farmers have been critical of the lack of transparency in the sector, with ongoing accusations that a small number of operators in the meat industry are controlling price due to their scale and dominance.

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said the tracker will be continually updated and, "is designed to track overall trends in beef cattle, wholesale, retail and 5th quarter prices".

She added: "We will continue to work with the Beef Market Taskforce over the coming months to further develop the range of market information available to farmers".

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said his department had "listened to calls for increased transparency in the sector and was making every effort to contribute to this".