A meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Costas Kadis, was held in the afternoon by a group of sheep and goat farmers, who earlier today held an event outside the Presidential Palace, protesting against the non-implementation of the PDO standard, which does not allow prices of milk, which they sell to cheesemakers.
After the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture left the Ministry and talked to the sheep and goat farmers, informing them of what he had discussed with their delegation and stated that “competition in the halloumi market is not working properly”, while promising additional support if needed.
“The first thing I want to say is that I fully understand today's events and protests. I do not agree with the way they manifested themselves outside the Presidential Palace. However, I consider them to be justified. I said it yesterday in Parliament, because there is a problem with the fact that you give more for the production of your milk than those who pay you “, said Mr. Kadis.
As noted, “I want to tell you that there was no action left that was not taken by this Ministry and by me personally on the issue of halloumi”.
That's why, he noted, and there was the success of the patent. Mr. Kadis said that “we have not yet received what we expected to receive with the registration. Because some do not work properly. The way they should work. We hear that checks had to be carried out from October 1st. From the 1st of October I have to tell you that the whole control mechanism is ready and working. The problem is that the dairies did not enter the process of producing PDO halloumi. They had to enter the process “, he added.
Mr. Kadis also mentioned that they produce halloumi, which they consider that they can send and trade under the mark “And that's why we went to the Legal Service to ask her if they have the right to do this thing.”
Answering questions from sheep and goat farmers, the Minister of Agriculture said that the 1 million euros were given (to the cheesemakers) “to help them get rid of the stocks and catch the halloumi price, because if the halloumi price catches you will benefit”. p>
“I believe that the competition in the halloumi market is not working properly. Not working. The production can not cost you 1.5 euros and you get 1.10. “Well, I want to tell you what we came up with,” he told the delegation. “First of all, the aid that we told you will be given, will be given by the end of the month, the 5 million”, he added, noting that these do not solve the problem.
The problem, continued Mr. Kadis, will be solved if the product catches the right price.
“Secondly, next week the opinion comes from the Legal Service and universal inspections begin. That is, the way the PDO is controlled by an international organization, all the production of halloumi will be controlled. “Third, we will push for better prices,” he said. He also promised that “if we do not see results by June 1, we will see other measures to support the industry.”
Mr. Kadis further stated that Cyprus was the first country in Europe that even what it could give, will give to support the industry.
“Cyprus will again be the first country to give and additional help if needed “, he added.
Responding to a relevant remark of a sheep and goat farmer, the Minister of Agriculture reiterated that they will do everything they can to ensure a sterile price for halloumi.
Mr. Kadis also said that “the “We received pressure today,” he told sheep and goat farmers, “and you have to put pressure on those who set the prices,” he said.
Kyriakos Manolis, a sheep and goat farmer from Nicosia, told him that if the cheese farmers and dairy farmers are not given proper increases in milk by June 1, “we as sheep and goat farmers will not deliver milk to the dairies”.
He thanked the Minister of Agriculture for the meeting and said that he “showed great understanding”, adding that regarding the inspections they are waiting for the opinion of the Legal Service. “The opinion of the General Prosecutor's Office in general on the PDO audits and the trademark will definitely help a lot”, added Mr. Manolis. Now, he continued, “what the Minister told us is that he will support us in any way he can. And we are waiting for the Minister to find ways to support us “.
When asked if there will be other mobilizations, such as today, the sheep and goat farmers answered in the affirmative.
< p class = "text-paragraph"> Meanwhile, according to the latest information of KYPE from the Police, the protesting sheep and goat farmers left Nicosia without a mass gathering in another Province, while the traffic on the highways is running smoothly.