Even though halloumi has now been registered as a protected designation of origin (PDO), regulations will not be implemented until October to ensure a smooth transition, European Commission spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer explained during Tuesday’s midday briefing in Brussels.
The European Commission on Monday officially registered halloumi/hellim as a PDO so that only halloumi produced in Cyprus and according to the product specification can use the registered name, while allowing the product to cross the Green Line provided it meets EU production standards.
PDO regulations enter into force 20 days after their publication, but the halloumi implementation will be postponed, Garcia Ferrer said, “to allow the designated body Bureau Veritas time to complete the legal arrangements with the Cypriot government and present an audit plan”.
This will also ensure that all producers, on both sides of the Green Line, can be certified to ensure they comply with the PDO conditions on the day of implementation “and avoid availability gaps of Halloumi / Helim in the market,” she added.
In addition, the delay will give non-Cypriot producers time to sell any stock they might have that does not comply with the PDO regulation.
The move is expected by the commission to bring clear economic benefits to the island and is seen as a hopeful step towards fostering trust between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.