The closure of all McDonald's restaurants due to Covid-19 is a blow for Irish beef farmers, the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has said.
The fast-food chain said all their outlets in Ireland and the UK will close by 7pm on Monday following similar closures in other European countries.
The move puts further pressure on beef farmers here. One in every five McDonald's burgers sold in Europe is of Irish origin. The food giant is the largest purchaser of Irish beef by volume, buying 40,000 tonnes each year from 18,000 different Irish farmers.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said that despite an increase in beef sales through supermarket sales, the closure of McDonald's is a big blow to the sector.
"Unfortunately, it is reflective of what is happening across Europe where closures have had an impact on the food service sector," he said.
He wrote to the European Commissioner for Agriculture last week pointing out that the Commission needed to stand ready to support the EU beef market.
“The Irish beef price is already well below the cost of production for farmers. They cannot sustain any further cuts,” he said.