French cattle farmers on Wednesday agreed a deal on prices with Europe's biggest retailer Carrefour , beef farmers group FNB said, after following the example of dairy farmers who held protests to secure higher milk prices from Lactalis.

FNB head Jean-Pierre Fleury said Carrefour had given a "firm and definitive commitment" to ensure farmers are paid at levels covering their production costs for quality fresh beef.

A Carrefour spokeswoman said that the group was satisfied with the agreement.

"It's the first time that a big retailer has finally accepted to pay based on production costs," Fleury said on France 3 television, urging other big groups like Casino to follow Carrefour's example or face protests.

French beef producers have struggled for years in the face of declining consumption while a downturn in milk prices has led some farmers to send dairy cows to slaughter, further weighing on beef prices.

Beef farmers' first protest took place on Tuesday morning at a Carrefour store near the northern town of Rouen and were followed with wide-scale action on Wednesday including in Paris.