Ireland's agriculture minister, Joe Walsh, has called for a "reality check" among the Republic's beef farmers and processors.
Speaking in Dublin this week, he told producers: " The day of producing and processing beef without any eye to the eventual market destination is well and truly gone. If a market demands a particular quality or age of animal that is what must be produced."
However, he was pleased that producers had responded to opportunities on the British market by finishing cattle earlier.
He also urged producers to "pull out all the stops" to regain a presence on the Egyptian market, even if this demanded a longer term perspective.