A new organisation has been formed to represent the farmers protesting outside meat factories over the prices they're being paid for their animals.

Representatives from the protesting groups met in the midlands last night, and a new organisation called Independent Farmers of Ireland has been formed.

It's understood delegates elected last night will meet with the  Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to discuss a resolution to the dispute.

The decision came after scuffles broke out during a protest outside the Liffey Meats plant in Co Cavan, while in Co Roscommon yesterday, a delegation of Chinese inspectors failed to gain access to the Kepak plant in Athleague - inspectors have been visiting meat plants to approve them as exporters to China.

Meat Industry Ireland says a number of meat plants across the country have ceased operations as a result of the ongoing protests by farmers.

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