As many as eight objections are expected against Cyprus’ application to register halloumi/hellim (Turkish name) as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis said on Friday.
Although the ministry has thus far received official confirmation of only three objections – one from the United Kingdom, and two from private businesses that trade the cheese, one located in the US and one in Australia – Kouyialis said more can be expected, most likely from “Turkey and Arab countries”.
“These objections are reviewed by the European Union and then forwarded to [Cyprus’] permanent representation and the Agriculture ministry,” he said.
The companies have two months to justify their objections. The Agriculture minister has revised an earlier prediction, that the process is expected to be finished in six months, to five.
“We will address these objections effectively and the procedure will move forward as normal,” he said.
“We will now focus on these objections and we hope the procedure will be concluded in five months.”
Cyprus applied to the EU for a PDO last year.
On July 28, the European Commission published the application to designate halloumi/hellim as a PDO in the official journal of the European Union, and at the same time announced a three-month period for objections by natural or legal persons not established or resident in Cyprus.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker supports Cyprus’ PDO application. He helped resolve the issues relating to the Turkish Cypriot producers of halloumi during a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during his visit to the island in July this year.