A large-scale meeting has been called at the Presidential Palace for February 5, 2020, to discuss ways to unblock Cyprus’ proposal to Brussels to brand halloumi as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).
According to Phileleftheros, the meeting, called by President Nicos Anastasiades, will be attended by the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Commerce, the Law Office Of the Republic of Cyprus, dairy producers, and cattle, sheep and goat farmers.
One of the issues to be discussed is the Ministry of Agriculture’s proposal to increase the quantity of goat and sheep milk used in the manufacturing of halloumi — so far 20% of halloumi has been made using goat and sheep milk, while recent studies by the Ministry have shown that it can be increased to 27%.
This relates to a PDO proposal requirement that stipulates that by 2024 — 10 years from the submission of Cyprus’ proposal to Brussels — the use of sheep and goat milk in the production of halloumi should exceed that of cow milk.
Cyprus’ PDO application for halloumi has been with Brussels for the past five and a half years.
The calling of the Presidential Palace meeting next month comes after European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski replied a week ago to a question regarding the delay that a Cypriot MEP posed a year ago in January 2019.
Edek MEP Demetris Papadakis had called Wojciechowski to answer on the delay, with the latter responding just last week attributing delays to political hurdles including the Cyprus problem.
“The name halloumi/hellim is emblematic of Cyprus, and the common understanding on a temporary solution for the product has been achieved under the guidance of Jean-Claude Juncker on July 16, 2015, and will be put into force in anticipation of the reunification of Cyprus,” Wojciechowski said in his statement.
“The Commission is fully dedicated to finishing the review of the PDO application, which was submitted on July 17, 2014. The initial evaluation of the application reached a positive outcome… On July 28, 2015, nine objections were submitted.
“The Commission continues to work towards the completion of the halloumi file on the basis of the common understanding on a temporary solution,” he concluded.
PDO is one of Europe’s quality schemes that aim at protecting the names of specific products to promote their unique characteristics, linked to their geographical origin as well as traditional know-how. Products registered under one of these schemes may be marked with the logo for that scheme to help identify those products.