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Oldest dairy producer takes market command

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Cyprus’ oldest dairy producer, Charalambides Christis, has quietly taken over the local dairy products market while diversifying its brand.

With a €129 mln turnover in 2021 and 3,200 local clients, Charalambides Christis is the largest dairy producer on the island and, according to a recent survey, has the biggest share of the market.

According to a survey carried out by RAI consultants, the firm controls 77.6% of the fresh pasteurised milk market.

Charalambides Christis also has 82.6% of the market in flavoured fresh milk drinks, and for strained yoghurt, the company is also first with 46.6%.

Being a major dairy producer, Charalambides Christis could not be left out of the Halloumi playing field, where it is again first with a 26.1% share.

Charalambides Christis managing director Marios Konstantinou said the company takes pride in being the number one firm in retail sales, excluding tobacco products.

The company has generated €84 mln from sales in the local market and €45 mln in exports.

“We are the largest and most reliable buyer of raw milk in Cyprus, with around 27% of all milk production, processing more than 72 million litres of milk annually.

“The quality Charalambides Christis is internationally recognised with the company active in exports to more than 32 countries with more than 40 clients.”

Konstantinou said the company enjoys exclusive partnerships with household names such as McDonald’s, TESCO, Arla, Morrisons and Mayers.

“95% of our exports are white labelled products, mainly halloumi and UHT cream.”

The UK has traditionally been the company’s, and Cyprus’, largest importer for dairy products.

He said that the firm had not encountered any significant difficulties following Brexit, “other than the extra paperwork needed to be filled in now that Britain has left the Union”.

Germany and Sweden are also major export destinations.

“We are Cyprus’ largest exporter of cheese and dairy products, with our exports increasing more than 400% in the past decade.”

Konstantinou said the company has been moving toward other foodstuffs importing the ‘Barba Stathis’ frozen vegetable line and products like ‘Life’ fresh juices.

“Our latest endeavour is Charalambides Christis Margarine, which consumers are picking up at rapid speed”.

Apart from margarine, the company also markets other plant-based products like almond and coconut milkshakes.