Cyprus Mail

Christodoulides to meet halloumi stakeholders in April

pantelis panteli and a worker prepare halloumi on his farm in kokkinotrimithia
File photo

President Nikos Christodoulides will hold a meeting with “all those involved in the production of halloumi” in April, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said on Sunday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), she said the government has approved a new set of regulations regarding geographical indications and quality assurance of products, which will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the coming days.

Among the provisions foreseen in the new regulations is permission to extend the transitional period regarding milk ratios in protected designation of origin (PDO) halloumi by five years.

Goat and sheep milk was initially stipulated to make up half of PDO halloumi by this July, but that deadline has now been put back to 2029. At present, in line with the current stage of transition, it makes up 25 per cent.

Panayiotou said the government has already made contact with all groups, and that there is “no other option but to find a consensus, as our common goal must be for everyone to protect PDO halloumi.”

Cattle breeders had applied to the European Court of Justice in February to strip halloumi of its PDO status with the aim of avoiding a reduction in the ratio of cow’s milk in the dairy product but were unsuccessful.

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