Dawn Meats has temporarily laid off several hundred people at three processing factories.
The beef-processing firm said it is due to the ongoing protests at plants across the country over the past 10 days.
Thousands of farmers have been picketing over the low prices they are getting for animals.
Industry sources confirmed staff at three Dawn Meats plants had been temporarily laid off.
David Whelehan, one of the organisers of the protests, said the job losses are a surprise.
He said: "I think it's quite astonishing actually that they would be prepared to lay off some of their staff, instead of sitting down with ourselves to come up with solutions to move us farmers out of this crisis we are faced with.
"It is high time that our Minister for Agriculture took his head out of the sand and dealt with the issues that are here at play."