EU pub­li­ca­tion paves way for hal­loumi PDO reg­is­tra­tion

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The tra­di­tional soft-cheese hal­loumi is set to get its Pro­tected Des­ig­na­tion of Ori­gin (PDO) reg­is­tra­tion very soon, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Ni­cos Kouyialis said just af­ter the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pub­lished the ap­pli­ca­tion to register the names Hal­loumi in Greek and Hel­lim in Turk­ish, for a cheese pro­duced in all the ter­ri­tory of Cyprus.

“Af­ter many years we man­aged to over­come one more ob­sta­cle. The ap­pli­ca­tion was pub­lished, paving the way for the fi­nal reg­is­tra­tion of hal­loumi. There will be a pro­ce­dure for ob­jec­tions of 6-7 months and I hope that ev­ery­thing will go well,” he said.

He added that there will also be a mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the Green Line Reg­u­la­tion in or­der to al­low Turk­ish Cypri­ots to trade hal­loumi through the ports of the Re­pub­lic.

Kouyialis also said that he will an­nounce in­cen­tives to sup­port sheep and goat farm­ing.

Some Euro­pean coun­tries are ex­pected to ob­ject to the hal­loumi reg­is­tra­tion as a PDO, es­pe­cially Euro­pean coun­tries with high pro­duc­tion of milk and dairy prod­ucts.

Ac­cord­ing to the ap­pli­ca­tion, hal­loumi is made of fresh sheep or goat’s milk or a mix­ture thereof, with or with­out cow’s milk added, ren­net, fresh or dried Cypriot mint leaves and salt. The pro­por­tion of sheep or goat’s milk or the mix­ture thereof must al­ways be greater than the pro­por­tion of cow’s milk. The milk used for mak­ing hal­loumi is Cypriot full-fat milk.

The milk must be pas­teurised or have been heated to a tem­per­a­ture above 65C. It must not be con­densed milk or con­tain milk pow­der, ca­sein salts, colour­ings, preser­va­tives or other ad­di­tives. It must not con­tain an­tibi­otics, pes­ti­cides or other harm­ful sub­stances.

The sheep and goat’s milk comes from lo­cal breeds and their crosses that have adapted to the is­land’s cli­mate. The cow’s milk comes from black and white cows that were grad­u­ally in­tro­duced in Cyprus, start­ing at the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury, and are now very well adapted to lo­cal con­di­tions. Hal­loumi cheese must be pack­aged within the de­fined ge­o­graph­i­cal area.

Mean­while, Bureau Ver­i­tas has been ap­pointed as the con­trol body in charge qual­ity con­trol of the is­land’s tra­di­tional hal­loumi goat’s cheese, lift­ing the fi­nal ob­sta­cle for the semi-soft white cheese to se­cure the long awaited pro­tected des­ig­na­tion of ori­gin (PDO).

This means that dairy pro­duc­ers on both sides of the is­land’s di­vide will be able to ex­port their prod­ucts freely and com­bat any at­tempt by cheese-mak­ers in other coun­tries to copy or la­bel hal­loumi, or ‘hel­lim’, as their own.

The de­ci­sion was an­nounced by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in Brus­sels, a day af­ter Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker had a joint meet­ing with Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci in Nicosia af­ter he said that the dead­lock on the sub­ject had been bro­ken.

Ex­ports from the Re­pub­lic are es­ti­mated at about EUR 8590 mln a year, while hel­lim ship­ments from the Turk­ish Cypriot side are a frac­tion of that, but ac­count for nearly 25% of all their ex­ports.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.