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Next The President decides when the PDO will apply to halloumi HOME • INSIDER • CYPRUS • The President decides when the PDO will apply to halloumi
& nbsp & nbspAngelos Nikolaou & nbsp; & nbsp;
In the shadow of the opinion of the Legal Service that only the product that meets the & nbsp; specifications of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) can be called halloumi, a meeting is being held today at the Presidential Palace between President Anastasiadis and the cheesemakers, in the presence of ministers and Commerce, the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General and officials.
The meeting takes place after the opinion of the Legal Service, which reaffirms that the name Halloumi can only be given to products that meet the requirements of the relevant European regulation, which was approved in April 2021 and entered into force last October. The aim of the Government is to control, in a unified and integrated way, the production of the product, so that it meets the specifications of the PDO. Therefore, all halloumi production will now be controlled exclusively by Burau Veritas. It is noted that, so far, around 10% of the dairies produce halloumi PDO, while these do not include any of the large dairies that export. & Nbsp;
The big cheesemakers have in common that, as is the case today, PDO halloumi can only be produced in small quantities. Thus, they avoided joining the PDO system in order to avoid controls by the international organization and produce a product based on trademarks. This narrative ended with the opinion of the Legal Service on 27/5/2022, according to which all products bearing the name Halloumi and destined for the Cypriot market and/or for export to EU Member States and/or third countries, even if they are marketed with prior recognition PDO trademarks must meet the requirements of the PDO, be audited, certified and bearing the PDO mark.
After the opinion of the Legal Service, two tendencies have formed among the cheesemakers. That of the hardliners and that of the moderates. The first category includes those who disagree with the content of the opinion and have already expressed, in a private meeting with the G.D. of the Ministry of Agriculture, the intention to take legal action against the Republic of Cyprus if it implements the opinion. In the second category are those who agree with the opinion of the Legal Service, but argue that there are no conditions for its implementation. The latter are of the opinion that a great advantage in the production of halloumi, and which distinguishes it from other cheeses, is the maximum possible use of goat's and sheep's milk.
To this end, answers are awaited on how to ensure that the species of milk-producing animals, as well as the origin of the feed on which these animals are fed, are included in the PDO. Furthermore, they ask for safeguards in relation to the percentage of moisture contained in the product. Also, in order not to be illegal, they ask for safeguards in relation to the products they produce and constitute a large percentage of exports today, such as the burger shape, the block and the slice. Clarification must also be made for products that are on the market and have been produced after October 1, 2021, but do not meet the PDO specifications. This is expected to be an important thorn in the side of the meeting and the intervention of the President of the Republic is considered a catalyst.
Important decisions are expected
During the meeting, they are expected to clarify all the above parameters, so that finally a PDO product can be mass-produced, the market can run smoothly and the halloumi can get the price it deserves, with obvious positive consequences for everyone. Applying market rules without any pre-arrangements between key players in the halloumi case will give sheep and goat farmers the opportunity to receive favorable prices for the milk they produce, to finally become viable, without the continued support of the state.