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Halloumi is Officially Launched Under the PDO label | Charalambides Christis

October 20, 2021

The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) certification for halloumi cheese is now formally implemented and the cheese-making sector is more than ready.   

It’s a new era for halloumi cheese as of 01 October, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Environment, as stated in a recent TV interview, Mr Kadis confirmed the official implementation of the decision of the European Commission to recognize halloumi as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) product; A decision that had been approved in April 2021.

As with all PDO products, the entire halloumi production chain is now subject to strict control systems. More specifically, the right to produce the cheese with the official name halloumi has been granted for the time being, to the 30 Cypriot production units that had submitted the relevant applications to the official certification body. These production units currently produce/export 80 to 90% of the cheese. A few more units are expected to be added at a later date. In accordance with the European Commission, halloumi must consist of 75% cow's milk and 25% sheep's milk. These proportions are to reach 50% respectively, by 2024. In addition, an international body of experts will undertake the phytosanitary control in the occupied areas.

Regarding the changes requested by the Association of Cheesemakers, these will be included in the technical file of halloumi, respective to the European context, while the Ministry considers that the cooperation with other entities of the production chain would be quite constructive, in order for the certification process to achieve the best possible benefits.

Pertaining to the consumers, the Minister would like to draw to their attention and informed them that the “new”, certified halloumi will continue to be present in the market in parallel with uncertified halloumi that was produced prior to 30 September. This will continue, until stocks run out, a phase that is expected to last a few months and consumers are advised to distinguish between them from the different labelling.

The Minister closed his statements by emphasising once again the major significance of this development for halloumi and how the PDO will act as a protective shield against imitation products.

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