FARMERS will park their tractors in protest outside EU offices in Cyprus if there is no solution to the issues regarding the registration of halloumi as a protected designation of origin (PDO) and the budget cuts outlined in the new agricultural policy for the years 2021-2027, they said in a joint statement.
The farmers’ associations PEK, EKA, Panagrotikos, New Agricultural Movement and Euro Agricultural Organisation said dairy farmers and producers are vehemently opposed to the registration, because the specifications listed in the file for halloumi, will cut their production by 50 per cent. Halloumi exports earn Cyprus some €200m a year, a sum that would be halved if the national cheese is registered as a PDO, they said.
The statement said that the new agricultural policy held a large share of the EU budget, while contributing strongly and substantially to the development of the standard of living of European citizens and preserving the environment of EU member states.
“It is for this reason that farmers in Cyprus will protest. We are calling on the EU to adhere to the regulations regarding quality standards and, after completing all the technical aspects of the dossier we submitted for PDO registration of halloumi, to sign it and make it official,” the statement said.
“Unless this is done very soon, farmers in Cyprus will park their tractors outside the EU offices in Cyprus,” the statement concluded.