By the end of the month, cheese manufacturers will produce halloumi that will fully comply with the specifications of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Kostas Kadis has said.
Kadis attended, Monday, a meeting of the Agricultural organizations with the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades on halloumi and the price spikes in raw materials in the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
In statements to the press, Kadis said that so far 32 cheese manufacturers have been certified as compliant with PDO specifications but added that a large number of manufacturers have yet to apply for certification.
“Our expectation is that as of today they will register en masse so that they as well will start producing halloumi according to PDO specifications as soon as possible,” he added.
The Minister of Agriculture also said that President Anastasiades expressed his clear view that the law concerning halloumi should be implemented and noted that he would not accept any deviation from the provisions of the EU regulation over Halloumi.
The European Commission adopted a regulation in April 2021 granting Halloumi PDO status.
Replying to a question on whether halloumi products will be removed from supermarket shelves if they are not compliant with the PDO specifications, Kadis said there is a specific process concerning this issue, adding that the appropriate notification and transitions would be given.
“And measures will be taken against those that don’t comply,” he said.
Kadis did not elaborate on the time given to producers for compliance, adding that the government will show flexibility if all parties have the intention to comply in an agreed-upon way and that the government does not wish to disrupt the market.
He also noted that Bureau Veritas, the organization overseeing compliance with the PDO specifications, will recall staff who are on holiday in order to carry out the necessary checks, so that production of halloumi under the PDO specification will begin immediately.