Apart from objections raised by various third countries, registering halloumi cheese as a protected designation of origin (PDO) was being delayed by disagreements with the Commission and Turkish Cypriots who want the Green Line Regulation to include animal products, the agriculture minister said on Thursday.
Nicos Kouyialis said the application was before the European Commission at an advanced stage.
He said the Commission was examining objections raised by nine third countries against Cyprus’ bid to register the popular cheese.
But there was also disagreement with the Commission and the Turkish Cypriots on how they would trade their halloumi, or hellim, since the application includes the entire island despite the division.
“There is a disagreement with the European Commission as to the manner the Green Line Regulation would be amended to allow the trade of halloumi from the occupied areas,” the minister said.
Adopted in 2004, the regulation sets out the terms under which persons and goods can cross the dividing line.
The movement of live animals and animal products across the line is prohibited except the movement of fresh fish for commercial purposes only.
This prohibition includes productive animals and pets, either for commercial transaction, or as a pet accompanied by the owner.
“The Commission and the Turkish Cypriots want the regulation to open up to animal products in general, something which we disagree with,” Kouyialis said. “The list of products included in the regulation should be expanded with the registration of each individual product and not open up for every product in general.”
The minister said halloumi producers across the island will be checked by an international organisation.
“This is the last obstacle we face and I hope that we will gave it before the end of the year,” he said.
The application was filed in July 2015, and the file stipulates that the ratio of goat’s and sheep’s milk, or a combination of both, needs to be more than the amount of cow’s milk.