The European Commission has registered Cyprus’ halloumi cheese as a protected designation of origin (PDO) product, protecting the valuable name against imitation and misuse across the EU.
Only halloumi produced in Cyprus according to the product specification is now allowed to use the registered name, bringing clear economic benefits to the island.
The registration allows producers of this iconic Cypriot cheese, famous around the world for its characteristic texture, folded appearance, and suitability for serving grilled or pan-fried, based anywhere on the island of Cyprus to benefit from the PDO status.
In addition, to facilitate that producers in the Turkish Cypriot community draw full benefits from the protection, the Commission has adopted a measure allowing the PDO product to cross the Green Line, provided that the cheese and milk from which it was made has met all EU animal and public health standards.
“With the unanimous endorsement of all member states, today we safeguard not only a unique national product of Cyprus, but also our union’s strict sanitary protections, which are paramount for food safety… The two communities in Cyprus can now reap the economic benefits of this decision, pending the reunification of the country, while ensuring that our stringent food safety standards are upheld,” Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said.
The main features of the package are:
– Only Χαλλούμι/Halloumi/Hellim produced on the island of Cyprus and according to the traditional recipe can now be marketed in the European Union under that name.
– An internationally accredited inspection body will be appointed to conduct PDO inspections throughout Cyprus.
– A workable arrangement will be set up to ensure efficient PDO controls throughout Cyprus.
– A measure lifting the prohibitions of movements of certain animal products on the island of Cyprus, pending its reunification, and laying down certain conditions for the movement of those products to allow the production of halloumi across all Cyprus.
– A private inspection body will be appointed to conduct inspections of farms and dairies in the Turkish Cypriot community.