Halloumi cheese exports during the first four months of 2023 amounted to €111.8 million euros, which corresponds to about 20 per cent of the value of Cypriot exports, Agriculture Minister, Petros Xenophontos has said.

Addressing on behalf of the President of the Republic at the 4th Halloumi and Trachana Festival in Meniko on Saturday, Xenophontos referred to the traditional cheese as the “jewel” of of traditional Cypriot agricultural products.

“The demand for halloumi cheese from foreign markets is on the rise” with exports in the first four months of 2023 amounting to 111.8 million euros, which corresponds to 20.49 per cent of the value of Cypriot exports.

Halloumi is also “the pioneer in opening up avenues to international markets for other Cypriot agricultural products, such as trachana” soup,” he said.

“We should never underestimate or diminish the importance of preserving and safeguarding the high quality of our product, which is directly linked to its high demand in the markets,” he noted.

The traditional halloumi cheese was registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product by the European Commission in October 2021.

“This registration is a tremendous achievement and a significant success for the Republic of Cyprus, the agricultural economy, and, more broadly, our economy. The registration now provides European recognition of the added value of halloumi cheese,” the minister remarked.

“Undoubtedly, the preservation of the quality and value of Halloumi cheese requires a collective effort from both its producers and dairy producers,” Xenophontos added.

In this effort, he assured, that his ministry “will always be a supporter”.