Minister of Agriculture Rural Development and the Environment Costas Kadis attended on Wednesday the first ever production of the traditional Cypriot halloumi cheese bearing for the first time the certificate of product of protected designation of origin (PDO).
The first badge of halloumi bearing the PDO certificate was produced in the “SOMIS Dairy Industry” in Frenaros.
In statemetns to the press, Kadis said “today is a day of great satisfaction seeing the efforts aiming to consolidate our national product, the traditional halloumi, bearing fruit.”
Noting that this historic dairy provides halloumi to the Scandinavian market, Kadis said that “Sweden is the world’s second per capita consumer of halloumi after Cyprus.”
“We all understand the importance of this collaboration. Such synergies will highlight our product at a global level and will provide added value which we all seek and will show the product’s quality,” he said.
Kadis also urged other dairies to enter this process so “to see the real benefits from the designation of halloumi as a PDO providing profits in all aspects of the food chain.”
Replying to a question, Kadis explained that there are dairies that have not embarked on the new production process, as they still seek to exhaust their current stocks or for other reasons. “I believe that we all need to enter this process and this road that opened today will be followed by the rest (of the producers),” he said.
On his part, Loizos Papadoloulos owner of the Fonatan Food AB, based in Sweden, said his parents hailing from Morphou took to Sweden 40 halloumi cheese pieces which were sold in a year, while this country today boasts the biggest per capita consumption of halloumi after Cyprus.
He expressed joy over the production of halloumi with the PDO designation because, as he said, “we believe this will increase the quality of the product.”
After years of unsuccessful efforts, halloumi has been designated as PDO by the European Commission in April 2021, thus protecting the he valuable name against imitation and misuse across the EU. Only Χαλλούμι/Halloumi/Hellim produced in Cyprus according to the product specification is now allowed to use the registered name.