Halloumi PDO is of “na­tional im­por­tance”, new jobs in farm­ing

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The govern­ment is keen to speed up pro­ce­dures to pro­tect the tra­di­tional goat’s cheese ‘halloumi’ from com­pe­ti­tion by other dairy-pro­duc­ing coun­tries, that would en­sure hun­dreds of jobs and help boost ex­ports, es­ti­mated at more than 25 mln eu­ros .

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Ni­cos Kougialis said last week that the regis­tra­tion of halloumi cheese as a prod­uct with Pro­tected Des­ig­na­tion of Ori­gin (PDO) is a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance, hav­ing filed ear­lier in July an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to grant halloumi/hel­lim a cer­tifi­cate of PDO. The Min­is­ter said that Turk­ish Cypri­ots, who call their ver­sion of the same cheese as “hel­lim”, should not worry, not­ing that so­lu­tions can be found with re­gards to per­form­ing the nec­es­sary con­trols on the prod­uct, once reg­is­tered, by an in­de­pen­dent body. He added that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has al­ready started as­sess­ing the Cyprus ap­pli­ca­tion and ex­pects the process to be com­pleted within six to eight months. Mean­while, Kouyialis added that the plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Ru­ral Devel­op­ment Pro­gramme and the Op­er­a­tional Pro­gramme for Fish­eries are part of the vi­sion to cre­ate a min­istry that is pro­duc­tive and evo­lu­tion­ary, pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment and op­por­tu­ni­ties to the coun­try and the econ­omy.

He told re­porters that these two pro­grammes will grad­u­ally pro­vide 800 new jobs in agri­cul­ture, an­i­mal breed­ing, re­search and fish­eries.

Kouyialis said that dur­ing its last meet­ing, the Cabi­net ap­proved his min­istry’s pro­pos­als for the devel­op­ment pro­gramme to­talling 240.5 mln eu­ros and for fish­eries for a to­tal bud­get of 52.61 mln eu­ros.

The first pro­gramme is al­ready be­fore the Com­mis­sion for ap­proval while the sec­ond one is still pend­ing, he said.

“These pro­grammes will pro­vide many so­lu­tions to com­bat youth un­em­ploy­ment and cre­ate new po­si­tions in agri­cul­ture, an­i­mal breed­ing, the en­vi­ron­ment and fish­eries,” Kouyialis con­cluded.

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