During the long meeting it was decided to entrust the calculation of the formula for milk production costs to an external expert.
By Maria Herakleous
A meeting of more than four hours took place on Monday evening at the Institute of Agricultural Research in Aglantzia, on the issue of halloumi, ended with a modest announcement from the Ministry, and with the decision to continue the discussions with each group separately. Thus, today the Minister of Agriculture will again see the Association of Cattle Breeders, tomorrow the Association of Cheesemakers and on Thursday the Association of Sheep and Goat Breeders, in order to discuss mainly the thorny issue of the milk quota, which has returned to the fore after the decree of the Ministry of Commerce, which increases the percentage of goat's milk in halloumi to 19%.
After the individual meetings, it is expected that a meeting will be held again with all those involved, so that concrete decisions can be made. According to information, in the context of last night's meeting, the issue of milk powder and imitation products was discussed, for which a decision was made to start specific inspections by the Ministry.
In addition, it was decided that an external expert should undertake the definition of a formula for the cost of halloumi production, through which he will clarify what the real cost of goat and sheep milk and cow's milk is.
It is a matter of whether this formula will be accepted by the parties involved in the production of halloumi, as well as the fact that the controls on the production and distribution of halloumi are proving to be insufficient, since in the meeting of the parties involved, there was talk of irregularities and loopholes in the legislation that allow the distribution imitation products even in the Cypriot market.
The announcement of the Ministry of Agriculture
The Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Mr. Petros Xenophontos had a meeting today with all the agencies involved in the production and marketing of PDO halloumi, in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCC), regarding the implementation of the agreement signed in July 2022 by the Association of Cheesemakers and the organized groups of cattle breeders and sheep and goat breeders.
During the meeting, Mr. Minister stated that the goal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment (YGAAP) is to safeguard the registration of the name “halloumi” PDO, noting the need for cooperation from all involved, aiming at the common interest of the local economy.
The discussion initially recorded the degree of implementation of the provisions of the agreement by all the contracting parties as well as ways to stop the marketing of imitation products, with the cooperation of all those involved.
Regarding the implementation of the agreement to define a formula for calculating milk production costs, it was decided that the YGAAP would assign it to an external expert and act as a point of reference separately for each interested party.
Finally, it was agreed that in the next few days the Minister will have separate meetings with all those involved, in a attempt to reach a broader consensus on all points of disagreement concerning the future of the product.