The Minister of Agriculture, Costas Kadis, expressed his satisfaction with the production of halloumi so far as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product.
From September 1st, cheese factories and supermarkets must comply with the specifications of the PDO, based on the relevant regulation and legislation and after an agreement is reached between all involved.
In his statements to CNA, Kadis expressed his satisfaction with the fact that the vast majority of cheese factories have been certified by the international organization Bureau Veritas and have already started producing PDO halloumi.
He also said that production based on the strict specifications and procedures of the European organizations, gives added value, in price and reputation. "My assessment is that we will see an increase in sales of the product, but possibly we will also see an increase in the price of the product", he said.
He added that the increase in price, especially in the international markets, is what is being sought since halloumi was one of the few products that did not receive the increase it deserved, despite the increase in all raw materials of its production. Halloumi retaining its price, he added, was not normal.
The Minister also estimated that based on the increase given to sheep and goat farmers (30-35 cents) the final increase in halloumi per kilo will be less than one euro.
Regarding the prospects for new farms, Kadis said that there is a very large number of applications under the investment program of the Ministry of Agriculture and several of the applications concern sheep and goat farming.
Additionally, the Minister said that there were already five applications submitted by Turkish Cypriots for the production of halloumi as P.D.O. and they are being evaluated.
The executive secretary of the Pancyprian Association of Supermarkets, Andreas Hadjadamou, told CNA that supermarkets accept now only halloumi PDO, adding that an informal transitional period of 10-15 days has been given to get rid of the old stock.