The Scottish public have been encouraged to back local farmers as beef prices hit a prolonged three-year low.
Farmers and industry groups are stepping up action over the coming weeks to help the 'serious' situation.
A campaign called #BackScotchBeef campaign is to launch which aims to encourage more people to support Scottish beef farmers and crofters.
At present, a number of beef producers are losing more than £200 a head on their cattle, presenting an unsustainable situation on-farm.
NFU Scotland said it is 'adamant' that such a scenario 'cannot continue'.
As part of its shelf watch activity, which has previously prompted action by retailers, the union is currently carrying out a beef burger shelf watch.
The aim of this is to establish which of the nation’s retailers are supporting beef farmers during challenging economic times and at the height of the summer.
Commentators are concerned the wholesale and catering sector isn’t doing enough to support home-produced beef.
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick commented: “The current price we are receiving for our beef is well out of step of our cost of production.
“Production in a beef enterprise requires years of planning but it ultimately requires a sustainable end price.
“Without a sharp turnaround in the beef price the viability of family farms and crofts across Scotland will be severely damaged, irreparably for some,” he said.
The union has invited all major stakeholder organisations to a summit to discuss the challenges facing the sector.