during the Easter period.
The ovens are lit on Maundy Thursday to prepare this special custom, which is passed down from generation to generation.
Tradition wants the flaunas to be prepared before Easter to be eaten on Easter Sunday, so that there is a smooth nutritional transition from the forty-day fast to the non-fasting foods, such as the eggs and cheese contained in the flaunas.
More expensive by 1 euro per kilo
This year, therefore, the general accuracy also affected this traditional edesma, where the sale prices of flauna are recorded higher, compared to with last year.
According to the data from the Cyprus Consumers' Association, the average price of flauna has increased by approximately 1 euro per kilo, compared to 2022.
Specifically, ready-made flauna are sold in Nicosia supermarkets from 11, 50 to 13 euros per kilo, in bakeries around 13.50 per kilo, while specialist famous brands are sold from 17 to 18 euros per kilo.
Consequently, this year the average price of flauna is around 12.25 euros , while in 2022 it fluctuated at 11.10 euros, in 2021 at 9.18 to 9.71 euros and in 2020 at 9 euros.
Orders directly to the customer
As the baker and confectioner of Loullis Artisanal Bakery Paraskevi Loullis explains, this year the price of flauna “increased by only 1 euro, i.e. from 16 euros per kilo to 17 euros per kilo”, while it could reach 18 euros per kilo in order to cope with the increased costs.
As she notes, Ms. Loullis makes the handmade flaunas to order and ships them directly to the customer.
Asked if there are enough orders, she says there is a lot of work, with most people placing their orders in time for her to prepare them, and then there are the last minute customers.
Where is the increase in prices due
According to the president of the Cyprus Consumers' Association, Marios Drousiotis, the increase in the prices of flauns for this year's Easter is due to “the increase in the price of the raw material of milk from the producers, as well as the precision that has been plaguing the world for the last year, with the increased cost of electricity and fuel”.
The traditional cheese of Flauna
As for cheese, traditionally the cheese of Flauna is used and now the kefalotyri.
Indicatively, the price of Flauna cheese in supermarkets is 14 to 16 euros per kilo, while kefalotyri ranges from 13 to 16 euros per kilo.
The cheese of Flaunas is a special cheese, which is made only in Cyprus from cow's or sheep's milk in the country's cheese factories.
“The increase in price is justified”
Economy Today contacted the president of the Cyprus Cheesemakers' Association, Marios Constantinou, who tells us that the increase of one euro in the selling price of flaunas is “reasonable and it is completely justified”.
When asked about the reason for the increase, he explains that “it is entirely due to the increase in prices of goat and sheep milk, which stems from the agreement of 1 September 2022 which included increases in the prices of PDO cheeses.
Also, the second driver that affects the accuracy of the price of cheeses is the increased cost in energy, electricity, saying that “2023 entered very badly”.
Increased costs of animal feed, due to the war in Ukraine, and electricity, are unbearable especially for goat and sheep farmers, he emphasizes.
25% increases in cheese prices
According to Mr. Constantinou, the increase in the price of cheeses is around 25% this year, compared to last year, while he calculates that the prices have not stabilized yet and may increase more in the next period. “It seems that the prices of sheep and goat cheeses continue the upward trend, they are under tremendous pressure and we may see another increase within the month”.
As he explains, cow cheese is cheaper with the average price reaching 70 cents per liter, while goat's milk is 90 cents per liter and sheep's milk at 1.40 euros per liter. “Each cheese has a different performance, with sheep and goat being more difficult, a little worse in cheesemaking”.
However, there are mixed cheeses, with different milks from all three types.
As for Kefalotyri, this is imported from Greece and the increase in sheep cheese is huge, i.e. at 1.70 euros per liter, he adds.
In total there are 20 large cheese factories in Cyprus, while the smaller ones are close including 100 cheese factories, which are scattered throughout Cyprus.
source: Economy Today