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Protecting halloumi/hellim trade will benefit everyone

21 March 2015

Greek Cypriot Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis has said that specifying halloumi/hellim as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product will benefit all producers in Cyprus.

A PDO protects names of foods from particular regions, ensuring that only products from those regions specified can be marketed.

The product will be called halloumi/hellim and will be produced by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots in order to protect the country from foreign imitators. “We are securing a market that benefits everyone,” Kouyialis told Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

The EU is expected to make an announcement soon, after the application is translated into all European languages.

The minister said it is likely that an independent organisation with an international presence will be hired to manage quality control throughout the island and ensure equal treatment for all producers.

He pointed out that France and Italy which hold 75% of all PDO’s operated the same system. “Whatever rules apply for France, Italy, Germany and all other EU countries that have PDO or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) will apply for Cyprus. EU regulations cannot be implemented differently in Cyprus”, he said.

South Cyprus filed an application to the European Commission to grant halloumi a certificate of PDO in July 2014. Last year, the Turkish Cypriots complained because they were not consulted on the process, and filed five cases at the Supreme Court fearing a negative effect on their producers.

The PDO application was also delayed by Greek Cypriot producers who protested that the Ministry’s demand for a content of 51% goat’s milk was unrealistic. Pressure on authorities increased after a British Cypriot received money from the EU to produce halloumi cheese in the UK.

Source Cyprus Mail

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