Dawn Meats has set up a Dairy Beef Club to increase the amount of beef from Irish dairy calves that enters the supply chain.

The company is working with the Irish agriculture and food development authority Teagasc on the initiative, under which two-week-old dairy calves are transferred from farms to specialist rearing units.

Dawn Meats will provide investment and expertise and will guarantee a market for the beef.

"Current marketing channels for bull calves are loss-making and better outlets are possible," said group development manager Paul Nolan.