Meat processing company ABP has announced that it will increase the base price of cattle for deliveries from Monday. 

In a statement the company, owned and controlled by Larry Goodman, said there had been indications earlier this week that a market price increase was coming, and that this week's blockades by farmers and the Irish Farmers' Association were "needless and irresponsible".

An increase in price is the key demand of the IFA, which has been blockading retail distribution centres this week.

The company also questioned why the IFA mounted the blockade given it was "fully aware that market indications pointed towards a cattle price increase in Ireland".

The latest 12-hour IFA blockade is taking place outside Lidl's Ireland distribution centre in Charleville, Co Cork.

It follows yesterday's blockade of an Aldi facility in Naas, Co Kildare.

Farmers said Irish beef prices were lagging behind the EU and UK and they would continue with the blockades until pricing was addressed.

At 7am this morning, around 50 IFA members blocked lorries from accessing the distribution centre, from which stock is delivered to Lidl stores all over the country.

IFA President Joe Healy said farmers were "justified" in demanding a "significant price" increase for beef as Irish prices are 20c/kg or €80 per animal, behind the Bord Bia price tracker and 50c/kg or €180 behind the UK price.

"We have had enough excuses from both processors and retailers. Our message to the retailers is clear: tell your beef processors to give their farmers a price increase," he said.

Responding to the blockade, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said farmers should be paid the maximum price the market will allow.

"Positive engagement through Producer Organisations and the Beef Market Taskforce is, in my view, the best way to progress farmers' interests," he said.

In a statement issued this morning, Lidl Ireland said it appreciated the importance of communication with farming representatives and understood the difficulties faced by many farmers.

Lidl management said it had hosted "constructive discussions" with members of both the BPM (Beef Plan Movement) and with the IFA last week.

"Our customers are hugely appreciative of quality Irish produce - for this reason we are supportive of the work of the Beef Taskforce and hope they can make positive progress rapidly in the interest of all parties," it said.

Additional reporting Marian O'Flaherty