The Cypriot Government has been successful in its bid to register halloumi as a protected designation of origin (“PDO”). As a result, products which do not meet the PDO criteria for Halloumi cannot carry the Halloumi brand.
The Attorney General’s office (“AG”) has urged Agriculture and Commerce Ministries to tighten checks on halloumi to ensure no substandard halloumi reaches retailers. The AG argue having different halloumi on the market will result in confusion and deception amongst consumers.
According to the PDO specification, 51 per cent of the milk used to make halloumi should be from either sheep or goat as of 2024. During the transition period, from now until 2024, a minimum of 20 per cent of the milk used should be from sheep or goat.
The news comes as an outrage to farmers and cheesemakers alike as they allege there is not enough sheep and goats milk to cover demand. Further, halloumi made from sheep and goat milk has a pungent flavour and aroma which is not popular amongst European consumers. Products such as halloumi burgers and light halloumi will no longer be able to carry the brand name if the product does not comply with the PDO specification. As a result, halloumi imitators across the globe will no longer be able to use the brand.
For those seeking to sell halloumi under the EU trade mark, thereby bypassing the milk ratio criteria set out by the PDO, cannot do so and are required to follow the specification set out in the PDO. Products which do not comply with the PDO cannot be exported.
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