Cyprus Mail

Court grilling for Greek cheese maker

By Constantinos Psillides
By the end of the year Cyprus will receive good news on halloumi, Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis said on Tuesday, adding that securing the name will be beneficial for everyone on the island.
Kouyialis was asked by reporters to respond to the news that a Greek court ruled that a company in Greece using the name ‘halloumi’ for its product should cease immediately, arguing that halloumi is in the process of being granted a certificate of PDO (protected designation of origin) by the European Commission.
Cyprus filed an application in July.
“This legal victory is of extreme importance and a clear message to all who attempt to capitalise on halloumi. It is my sincere hope that soon halloumi will be granted PDO status, putting a stop to all out of Cyprus companies who want to use the name for their own gain,” Kouyialis said.
He added that halloumi is gaining fast in the European market and that a number of companies seek to capitalise on its market penetration.
“This is why it’s imperative that we secure the PDO status. Besides increasing its market value, only Cypriots producers will reap the benefits of halloumi sales in the EU,” argued Kouyialis.
The Veroia District Court in Greece issued an injunction against a local cheesemaker, who wrote ‘halloumi’ on his products. The court ruled that by putting the name ‘halloumi’ the consumers might be tricked into thinking it was actual halloumi.
The ‘halloumi war’ is actually being fought on two fronts as the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce filed an application with the Supreme Court in September to scrap the Cyprus bid for halloumi.
Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry chairman Ali Cirali explained that the TCCI objects to the fact that Turkish Cypriot producers were not involved in the process of drafting the application to the European Commission.
While not disagreeing with the formula for hellim/halloumi – at least 51 per cent goat and sheep milk content – the TCCI has reservations regarding the inspection of Turkish Cypriot industries, according to its chairman.

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