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12° Nicosia,
17 July, 2024
 
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Halloumi wins reprieve as EU grants five-year transition period

Cyprus secures PDO status, but focus shifts to boosting sheep and goat milk production

Newsroom

Cyprus' iconic Halloumi cheese remains a protected designation of origin (PDO) after the European Union granted a crucial five-year grace period to comply with production specifications.

The decision, published in a new European regulation, provides Cypriot producers with breathing room until 2029 to adjust their practices to meet PDO requirements.

Speaking on SporFM radio, Andreas Gregoriou, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, outlined the challenge. PDO regulations mandate a higher ratio of sheep and goat milk compared to cow's milk in Halloumi production. However, current Cypriot production relies heavily on cow's milk due to limited sheep and goat milk availability.

"We worked hard to secure PDO status for Halloumi," Gregoriou explained. "The remaining hurdle is the milk used. The regulation calls for a majority of sheep and goat milk, but we currently lack sufficient supplies."

The Ministry, in collaboration with Halloumi producers, sought the EU's approval for a transitional period. The EU Council of Agriculture Ministers endorsed the request on March 26th, paving the way for a five-year derogation starting in April.

"This gives all stakeholders a chance to work together and address the issue of low sheep and goat milk production," Gregoriou emphasized. When questioned by the journalist, he expressed confidence that increased production of sheep and goat milk would ultimately resolve the challenge.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  halloumi  |  economy  |  exports

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