Mr Cullinane said Government inaction on retail legislation had left farmers without any power in the food chain.

Pig and poultry farmers protested outside two branches of Dunnes Stores as they called for higher prices for their produce as production costs soar.

IFA protests at Dunnes Stores branches in Cork and Monaghan continued overnight, after requesting a meeting with the company to discuss what farmers are paid for produce.

Customer entrances to the Dunnes Stores carpark in Bishopstown in Cork were blockaded with farm vehicles.

The protestors are mainly pig and poultry farmers who say they cannot sustain rising costs of energy, feed and other inputs if prices paid to them do not also rise. The IFA met with management of Tesco, Centra and Lidl in recent days.