The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce (Keve) said it was “deeply concerned” on Thursday about the latest developments regarding halloumi.

Their concerns pertain to forthcoming changes to the ratio of different types of milk in halloumi. The quota of goat’s milk and sheep’s milk in mixed-milk halloumi set to be doubled from 10 per cent to 19 per cent, following an announcement in the government gazette last week.

Yesterday, the cattle breeders’ coordinating committee labelled the move “disastrous”.

Keve said “the halloumi product must be considered a national asset as it contributes many millions of euros each year to the economy, and employs thousands of people in dairy factories and in the breeding of goats, sheep, and cattle.”

They added that the industry “must be protected”, and said they “call on the government, the President, and all the relevant ministries … to reach an agreement which strengthens the export prospects of halloumi and at the same time ensures the viability of the livestock units involved.”

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.