“As pro­duc­ers, we value the lo­cal mar­ket and we are giv­ing pri­or­ity to it. There is no way Cyprus will be left with­out hal­loumi, nor will prices be af­fected”

Ac­quired taste

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - COMMENT -

“Goat’s milk is an ac­quired taste, chang­ing the ra­tio overnight in 2024, will not go down well with cus­tomers around the world, from dif­fer­ent cul­tures with dif­fer­ent taste buds,” An­dreou said.

Pro­duc­ers are ask­ing from the state to think of ways to ei­ther grad­u­ally change the ra­tio or to con­sider re­vok­ing the PDO file and in­stead fil­ing a Pro­tected Ge­o­graph­i­cal In­di­ca­tion (PGI) file.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is that qual­i­ties and prop­er­ties of PDO prod­ucts are ex­clu­sively de­ter­mined by the ge­o­graph­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, while the main fac­tor for PGI prod­ucts is a cer­tain qual­ity of fea­ture that is at­trib­ut­able to its ge­o­graph­i­cal ori­gin.

Echo­ing the same con­cerns, Gior­gos Petrou, CEO and founder of Alam­bra Dairy Prod­ucts said that the PDO ex­cludes all hal­loumi by-prod­ucts which are at least 40% of hal­loumi ex­ports.

“These ex­ports would be lost de­scrip­tion is ap­plied,” Petrou said.

“Out of some 23,000 tonnes of hal­loumi ex­ported in 2017, only 10,000 would have left the coun­try’s ports.”

Petrou ar­gued that: “Hal­loumi is a pil­lar of the ru­ral econ­omy and helps sus­tain life in our agri­cul­tural areas. More than 6,500 fam­i­lies de­pend on the hal­loumi in­dus­try, as the raw ma­te­ri­als come from the agri­cul­tural sec­tor.”

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the lim­its of milk pro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially that of goat and sheep, the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, said that it is do­ing ev­ery­thing in its power to en­sure that farm­ers and dairy pro­duc­ers will be able to meet de­mand for hal­loumi.

“The min­istry ac­knowl­edges that there are lim­i­ta­tions as to how much goats milk can be pro­duced by the is­land’s live­stock.

“That is why we are look­ing into find­ing ways to in­crease the goat and sheep pop­u­la­tion by im­port­ing live­stock and to in­crease their pro­duc­tiv­ity,” said Sokra­tous.



the PDO

Due to the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, the goat and sheep pop­u­la­tion had dropped from 470,000 in 2011 to 370,000 in 2014 and is now at 402,000.

Us­ing var­i­ous meth­ods, Cyprus has suc­ceeded in in­creas­ing an­i­mal pro­duc­tiv­ity by 4%, the min­istry is also part of a project which aims to in­crease goat and sheep milk through ge­netic im­prove­ments.

The EUR 30 mln AGRICYGEN project - a con­sor­tium of seven or­gan­i­sa­tions from four dif­fer­ent coun­tries (Cyprus, UK, France, Ger­many) sup­ports the ad­vance­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity of the live­stock and feed pro­duc­tion sec­tor.

The PDO file is now be­fore the Col­lege of Com­mis­sion­ers where it will un­dergo tech­ni­cal ex­am­i­na­tion.

“The min­istry has done ev­ery­thing in com­plete the file,” said Sokra­tous.

It is cur­rently stuck due to a po­lit­i­cal is­sue aris­ing from the Green Line reg­u­la­tions and a dis­pute with the Turk­ish Cypriot side over how hal­loumi is made in the north.




Chi­nese of­fi­cials at­tend a hal­loumi tast­ing ses­sion dur­ing Min­is­ter Kadis’ re­cent visit

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