Shortly after the EU unanimously voted the registration of halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product of Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday evening welcomed the development on Twitter.
A post in both Greek and Turkish said: “This is a milestone day for Halloumi/Hellim and for our homeland. The EU has made it a PDO product. A shield of protection has been created, along with huge prospects for increasing the exports of our national product for the benefit of all Cypriot producers, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot”.
However, cheese makers have already announced they will stage a mass demonstration on Friday against the move, saying it would destroy the industry.
The College of Commissioners has approved two legal texts, one concerning the registration of halloumi as a PDO.
And another concerning the decision of the European Commission on the phyto-sanitary inspections to be carried out in the breakaway north of the divide island for the Turkish Cypriot version of the cheese marketed as ‘hellim’.
The other ongoing issue with halloumi has been the internal row over the formula of cow’s milk to sheep and goat milk, with farmers saying for years that the quota, 49:51 in favour of the latter in order to comply with the traditional recipe, could not be met by current milk production.
Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis is set to give a press conference later on Tuesday to elaborate on the PDO decision.
“Afrer a long, very long time we can finally be assured that this traditional product of ours is safe-guarded,” Kadis told state radio.