The IFA is staging a 24-hour picket next week outside beef factories across the country, as part of its strategy to highlight the prices being paid to beef farmers.

It is expected that the picket will start on Monday evening and continue through to Tuesday.

IFA President Eddie Downey said the continued price difference between cattle in the UK and those in Ireland was the tipping point for the action. “It’s about time and the fact we see the price in the UK move away from our price and there is no reason for that.”

He said the IFA had given factories ample opportunity to communicate and act on the situation.

The IFA has been threatening to protest outside factory gates for some time, after a number of protests were held in recent weeks and months outside the Department of Agriculture offices, retailers and fast food restaurants. It also held one protest late last year outside a processor – when it staged a protest outside Kepak.

The picket will take place the day before the next round of the Beef Roundtable Summit it due to take place. The Beef Roundtable takes place next Wednesday in Dublin and is to include processors, farming organisations and the Minister for Agriculture.

Holding the picket on Tuesday, the day after the Bank Holiday Monday will mean that supplies into factories next week may be affected.

Last week the IFA’s Meath and Carlow county executive meetings were heated affairs, with proposals for more than one protest to take place. Calls were made by Grassroots IFA for a proper strategy and long-term plan by the IFA and the other farming organisations.

Earlier this week, at the IFA Dairy Conference, IFA President Eddie Downey said that eight months into the job, I thought I could change things so I would not a ‘protesting President’. “The last eight months we’ve had more protests than ever before on the beef front. But I can see changes coming down the line out there.”