Cyprus Mail

Minister allays fears over British halloumi


Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis sought to allay concerns on Tuesday after reports that a Briton of Cypriot descent received money from the EU to produce halloumi cheese in the UK.
“There is no reason for panic,” Kouyialis told private Sigma television. The minister added that the man in question did not appear to have registered a trademark, which was necessary for him to be able to produce the island’s highly prized cheese.
“This is something we looked into yesterday. We are certain there was no submission of a trademark to produce halloumi,” the minister said.
The report in the Bristol Post said Michael Michael has been awarded a grant worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to help start his dairy project.
The Post has comments from a local MP, who said Michael “envisages using the latest milking technology to produce the highest grade Cypriot cheese, made using up to 100 per cent of sheep or goats’ milk.”
Michael declined comment, the Post said.
Halloumi is a registered trademark but it has not been registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) under EU law due to disagreements among the island’s farmers and producers.
Cheesemakers disagreed with the ministry over the acceptable proportions of milk; it mandates a 51 per cent minimum of goat milk, which the association deems as unrealistic as available quantities in Cyprus did not allow for such a high percentage in halloumi production.
PDO is designed to protect the names of regional foods and to ensure that only products originating in that region can be traded
Kouyialis said the ministry was close to submitting the PDO application file – something he had said in March would be done by mid-April.
“We are at the end of a lengthy procedure. Just have a bit of patience,” the minister said.

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