Cheesemakers said Tuesday they have called off a protest over the registration of halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
The decision followed a meeting Monday with the agriculture minister.
Cheesemakers thanked the minister for the positive climate and informed milk producers that the protests planned for next Monday have been cancelled.
In a written statement, the cheesemakers said it had been agreed during the meeting to further explore certain aspects of the case, which would satisfy all sides if they have a positive conclusion.
The association went on the warpath claiming the PDO file as submitted did not protect halloumi but would lead to the destruction of the largest exportable agricultural product of Cyprus.
“These losses will lead to the destruction of the entire dairy industry, livestock and agriculture at a huge cost to the local economy as it is estimated that the sector’s worth will shrink from €300m to €90m,” the association said.
Regarding the provision that goat’s and sheep’s milk should be in a larger quantity to cow’s milk, the association said that in the past year, around 65m litres of goat’s and sheep’s milk was delivered to the dairy industry.
With 30m litres of that intended for the production of pure goat and sheep halloumi, goat and sheep yogurt and other such cheeses, there was only 35m litres left available for the production of the mixed halloumi.
The association said this, with the almost equal amount of cow’s milk would only produce around 14,500 tonnes of halloumi compared with the 43,500 tonnes they produce today.