The grace period for selling halloumi that is not PDO registered is over and from Monday only that which does can be sold, Agiculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Sunday.
He said officials from his ministry will be in stores on Monday morning to check that only the correct halloumi is being sold.
“On the shelves there should not be anything other than halloumi that is certified by the PDO process,” he said.
Any that does not bear the PDO marking cannot be sold, he clarified.
He called on citizens to be careful and supermarket managers to fully adopt this regulation, stressing that “the grace period is over”.
He also called on everyone to adapt to the new era, which, as he said, can only bring positively to “our national agricultural product, halloumi”.
The production of PDO halloumi has long been stuck in debate over its specific criteria.
An agreement reached between cheese makers, farmers and the ministry in July set a transitional period during which the halloumi produced will have 10 per cent goat and sheep milk, until January 2023. After that, the specifications will jump to 20 per cent, and thereafter the portioning will increase by five per cent a year – reaching 50 per cent by 2029.
Production of halloumi based on the strict guidelines set by the European organisations gives added value to these products, Kadis said.
Last week, the supermarkets association said that the price of halloumi is expected to rise by about 15 per cent.
Non-PDO halloumi can still be sold under a different name, although the ministry has said there has been very little interest in this.