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16 June, 2024
 
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Cyprus cheese industry shuts down amid regulatory dispute

Board of Directors unanimously decides to shut dairies starting January 10, 2024, following failed negotiations with government.

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The Cyprus Cheesemakers Association has made a unanimous decision to shutter all cheese dairies starting January 10, 2024, following a protracted disagreement with government authorities over regulatory changes.

In the wake of a two-month impasse and failed negotiations with the Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, the association's board took the drastic step to close operations.

The conflict arose from a decree issued on October 20, 2023, unilaterally mandating a minimum of 19% of sheep's and goat's milk in the production of halal mix, a move disputed by the association. The disagreement revolves around the erroneous application of the 19% figure to all dairy products, rather than specifically to the halal mixture, as agreed upon in the framework.

With exports totaling close to EUR 1 billion, the association, representing a sector integral to the Cypriot economy, stresses its commitment to preserving jobs and sustaining the halloumi industry. Efforts to find a consensual solution, including reverting to the agreed-upon 10% actual percentage, have proven unsuccessful.

Letters have been dispatched to government officials, including the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, the Minister of Energy, Trade, and Industry, and President Nicos Christodoulides, seeking intervention to avert a potential crisis in the sector. The association remains steadfast in its dedication to collaborative solutions and the preservation of the renowned Cypriot halloumi legacy.

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Cyprus  |  dairy  |  cheese  | 

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