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15 July, 2024
 
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Producers must increase goat and sheep's milk in Halloumi

Agricultural Minister sets new milk quotas for halloumi producers; financial support announced for goat and sheep milk producers

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Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou announced on Saturday a new decree to adjust milk quotas for making Halloumi cheese with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. She also revealed financial support measures for the sector.

Starting February 1, 2025, the quota for goat and sheep milk in Halloumi will increase from 25% to 30%. Until August 31, 2024, the current quota of 25% will stay in place. For the dry period, a new average quota of 15% will be set, up from the previous 10% and 19%.

The new annual quota will rise to 23%, up from 18% in the 2023-2024 decrees. This change includes a 5% increase and a reduction in the seasonality period from six months to five.

“These changes help all livestock farmers by allowing both seasonal and year-round goat and sheep farmers to boost production and move away from seasonal limits,” Panayiotou said. “Cattle farmers will also adjust, reducing cow milk production for Halloumi, which aligns with our environmental commitments to the EU.”

Panayiotou also announced "generous financial measures" developed with Halloumi producers. These incentives aim to increase goat and sheep milk production and eliminate seasonality. The focus will be on improving infrastructure, genetic quality, and expanding production units.

"Halloumi is our shared heritage," Panayiotou said. "We are using this transition period to support everyone involved in its production, ensuring it remains our top export product and retains its PDO status, which strengthens its market position."

The state is committed to achieving these goals through cooperation and finding compromise solutions among all parties. Cyprus has a five-year transition period to fully implement EU Regulation 2021/591, which requires Halloumi to contain at least 51% goat and sheep milk.

This transition period follows an initial 10-year phase, ending next Tuesday, during which producers could use more cow milk. They must now gradually increase the goat and sheep milk content to meet the 51% requirement by the end of the transition period.

[With information from CNA]

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Cyprus  |  halloumi  |  cheese

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