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Gaps found in Department of Agriculture controls for PDO halloumi

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The problems that arise in relation to the marketing of halloumi as a product with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), as well as the measures to support producers were on Tuesday before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture.

Specifically, during today's discussion, the agreement of the Minister of Agriculture with the producers was evaluated in relation to the implementation of the relevant legislation.

In relation to the controls in order to establish whether the relevant legislation for the disposal is being observed only PDO halloumi in the supermarkets and the rest of the retail trade, it was found during the discussion that the Ministry of Agriculture has not carried out any control at all whether the products comply with the specifications.

In his statements, the President of the Agriculture Committee, Giannakis Gavriel, said that “unfortunately, after what was said in today's session, the concerns we expressed then, were not only confirmed, but further strengthened”.

As he noted, “three months after the signing of the agreement and two months after the implementation of the PDO halloumi agreement, it is found that the agreement between the parties involved is not being implemented or is being implemented at will”.

“I mention indicatively that the key parameter of the agreement was the withdrawal of the lawsuits, which were registered from time to time against the PDO. Today, we were informed that not only were they not withdrawn, but one of them will be tried in the European Court, before the end of the year”, he said.

According to Mr. Gabriel, the members of the Commission were informed by the Ministry of Agriculture that “it has not carried out any checks whatsoever as to whether the products comply with the specifications, including the quotas of the various types of milk”.< /p>

He also said that they were informed that the government has not yet paid the 10 cents per liter to the goat and sheep farmers, as provided for in the agreement.

“The responsibilities for this situation,” said Mr. Gabriel, “they weigh  exclusively the rulers, who tolerate the non-implementation of the agreed upon serving, as always, specific large financial benefits”.      

DISY Member of Parliament, Charalambos Pazaros, stated that during the debate “it became clear that the subtle manipulations of the government, through the competent Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce, bore fruit despite the many and conflicting interests, which present various obstacles to the smooth production of PDO halloumi” .

He added that “since 2004, efforts have been made by the previous governments to protect halloumi”, adding that “after a long battle and a long period of discussions, disagreements, conflicting interests, the current government succeeded with subtle manipulations to give halloumi its place which it deserves and this success must be credited to it”.

The Member of Parliament of DIKO, Christos Orfanidis, stated that his party expressed its opposition from the beginning to today's debate in the Agriculture Committee on halloumi , to add that he had also expressed his opposition to the registration of the matter.

“The paradox of the whole issue is that those who are protesting today are the ones who co-signed, agreed, consulted in order to do what has been agreed,” said Mr. Orfanidis, adding that “we expressed and declared since the President of the Commission had asked to give the agreement, which has been made to the Committee, we stated that the minutes of the discussion and what was said in the discussion should also be given, to show who were the ones who supported the agreement and now say otherwise and allegedly express their concerns about the whole issue”.

EDEK Member of Parliament, Ilias Myrianthous, referred to the decrease in the population of goats and sheep, saying that “in essence we have secured a PDO product, which is also our main export product, but at the same time, we do not give prospects for the development of sheep and goat farming”.

It was asked “in what way we will develop the production of halloumi”, to note that “the actions that must be to be done is not only in matters of controls, it is also in matters of support for goat and sheep farmers”.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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