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MPs hear halloumi agreement has not been implemented

halloumi1

Contrary to what MPs believed, lawsuits surrounding halloumi PDO have not been withdrawn but a case is set to be heard at the European Court before the end of the year, the House agriculture committee heard on Tuesday.

Additionally, the agriculture ministry has also failed to carry out any inspections on the market, to ensure only PDO halloumi products are available.

According to the committee chairman Yiannakis Gavriel, MPs were informed by the agriculture ministry that “it has not carried out absolutely any inspections on whether the products on the market abide with PDO specifications, including the quotas of the various types of milk.

“Three months after signing the deal on halloumi PDO and two months after implementing it, the agreement between parties is not implemented or is done so at random.”

He added that sheep and goat farmers have not received the government funds of 10 cents per litre, as the agreement calls for.

Gavriel said that to add insult to injury, one of the main tenets of the PDO agreement was the withdrawal of any lawsuits against PDO.

“Today we found out that not only have they not been withdrawn, but one will be tried at the European Court before the end of the year.

“This weighs heavily on the government, which tolerates the non-implementation of the agreement, aiming to serve large financial interests.”

An agreement reached between cheese makers, farmers and the ministry in July set a transitional period during which halloumi 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.

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