Cyprus produces first PDO halloumi

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Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis attended Wednesday the first-ever production of the traditional Cypriot halloumi cheese bearing the EU product of protected designation of origin (PDO) certificate.

The first badge of halloumi bearing the PDO certificate was produced at the “SOMIS Dairy Industry” in Frenaros, Famagusta.

Kadis told reporters: “Today is a day of great satisfaction seeing the efforts to consolidate our national product, the traditional halloumi, bearing fruit.”

He said the dairy provides halloumi to the Scandinavian market.

“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 provide added value which we all seek and will show the product’s quality.”

Kadis also urged other dairies to enter the process “to see the real benefits from the designation of halloumi as a PDO providing profits in all aspects of the food chain.”

He said some dairies 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; this road that opened today will be followed by the rest (of the producers).”

Loizos Papadopoulos, the owner of Fontana Food AB, based in Sweden, said his parents hailing from Morphou, took to Sweden 40 halloumi cheese pieces that sold in a year.

Today, the country boasts the biggest per capita consumption of halloumi outside Cyprus.

“We believe this will increase the quality of the product.”

After years of unsuccessful efforts, halloumi was designated as PDO by the European Commission in April 2021, thus protecting the name against imitation and misuse across the EU.

As a result, only Χαλλούμι/Halloumi/Hellim produced in Cyprus according to the product specification is now allowed to use the registered name.