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Cheesemakers threaten action over halloumi milk ratio adjustment

Cheesemakers, halloumi, PDO, cheese
Cyprus cheesemakers’ association press conference

The Cyprus cheesemakers’ association is to hold an extraordinary general meeting on Friday to discuss “measures to be taken” regarding the “critical situation” regarding forthcoming adjustments to the ratio of different types of milk in halloumi.

The meeting comes after it was announced in the government gazette that the quota of goat’s and sheep’s milk in mixed-milk halloumi would be almost doubled from 10 per cent to 19 per cent.

The association described this adjustment as “completely unjustified” and said the decision “was taken without prior due investigation and will lead to the gradual collapse of the sector”.

They also called on Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, George Papanastasiou, to consult with all relevant parties before making a final decision.

The government gazette announcement and the Association’s subsequent reaction comes just a day after association chairman Marios Constantinou said the agriculture ministry had instructed producers to “abolish” goat’s and sheep’s milk halloumi with the aim of increasing the ratio of goat’s and sheep’s milk in mixed milk halloumi.

“What we have been told by the agriculture ministry is not to produce goat’s and sheep’s milk halloumi again – to abolish goat halloumi – in the coming months so that we can increase the percentage [of goat’s milk] in mixed halloumi,” he said.

The milk ratio adjustment comes as a result of the European Union’s protected designation of origin (PDO) guidelines, which state that there must be an eventual 50-50 split between cow’s milk and goat’s and sheep’s milk in halloumi.

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