Minister of Agriculture: Halloumi only with the specifications of the PDO
The opinion of the Legal Service clarifies that the product called halloumi is the one that meets the requirements of the European regulation
The opinion of the Legal Service clarifies that the product called halloumi is the one that meets the specifications of the European regulation, which registered the well-known Cypriot food as a product of protected designation of origin (PDO), the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development told KYPE Costas Kadis, noting that products that do not meet these specifications can not be called halloumi.
At the same time, Mr. Kadis stated that issues such as the possible introduction of a transitional period, what happens to the halloumi that is marketed under the brand and the controls for the product specifications will be discussed in today's meeting with the Legal Service and the Minister of Commerce. , but also in a meeting that will be convened in the coming days by the President of the Republic with all those involved.
According to Mr. Kadis, the multi-page opinion of the Legal Service, 23 pages long, has as a "general conclusion that the product called Halloumi must have the specifications of the European regulation, which recently registered the product as a PDO".
"Everyone should understand that the product called halloumi is one, that is with the specifications of the PDO and adapt to this reality and anything else that is produced that does not have these specifications can not be called halloumi," he told KYPE. Mr. Kadis explaining that "the producers will be able to market it but not under the name halloumi".
Regarding the audits of the certification body, Bureau Veritas, Mr. Kadis said that Bureau Veritas already carries out audits for the PDO, while all other products that were marketed under the trademark were audited by the Ministry of Commerce, adding that next steps in relation to the controls will be discussed in the meeting with the Legal Service and the Ministry of Commerce "so that we are all on the same line and on the same wavelength".
He pointed out, however, that since halloumi is a product it may have specific characteristics, our intention is to control the production of the product in the same way that the Bureau Veritas controls the PDO.
"That is," he explained, "to be controlled by an international organization with a lot of experience in this field, from the farm to the dairy, the whole process of production of the product, so that there is not the slightest doubt that this product meets the standards laid down in this regulation, which concerns not only the milk quota, but a number of other characteristics which the product must meet '.
He added, in the meeting with the Minister of Commerce and the Legal Service, "we will discuss how we manage some products that obviously and based on the opinion can not be called halloumi".
"If there is going to be a transitional period or if we move forward with some drastic measures, if we move forward to change the labels, they are options that will be considered and I can not tell you at this time," he added.
Regarding the reactions of the cheesemakers, the Minister of Agriculture said that in the first phase they will be informed about the opinion of the Legal Service "and we will ask them to adapt to the data of the opinion", while the issue will be discussed at a meeting that the President intends to convene of the Republic in the coming days.
"So, I believe that what is the product called halloumi is an issue that is fully clarified by the legal service. As for how we will implement in practice the result of this opinion is an issue that will be clarified immediately in the next few days after today's meeting we will have with the Legal Service and the Minister of Commerce and after the meeting that the President of the Republic will have. with all the involved bodies ", he concluded.