Cheesemakers decided on Friday to suspend protest measures they announced to shut down dairy farms over an ongoing spat on halloumi.

The looming threat had also led cattle farmers to threaten to dump milk outside the presidential palace if a solution was not found.

The development comes a day after cheesemakers met with President Nikos Christodoulides, along with Agriculture Minister Petros Xenophontos to try and diffuse the escalating tensions.

“We are satisfied by realisation that the mutual goal of the government and cheesemakers association is to protect and promote halloumi,” the cheesemakers said in a statement.

It was decided with the government that the current decree on halloumi would be extended from February 1 to February 21.

Under the existing decree, issued last October, the mandatory quota of sheep’s and goat’s milk in manufactured halloumi was 19 per cent up until February 1. After that date, the quota would have gone up to 25 per cent.

During Thursday’s meeting, the government proposed keeping the 19 per cent for a little longer – until February 21.

“The unchanging objective of the cheesemakers association is the protection of halloumi as our national product, the preservation and further strengthening of exports, the utilisation of all milk produced in Cyprus and the preservation of all jobs in the cheese industry for the benefit of our country and the economy,” it stressed.