Rigorous preparations are underway in the occupied territories for the purpose of halloumi exports that will commence autumn 2021, according to an article in Kıbrıs newspaper, entitled “They’re rolling up their sleeves for halloumi”. Starting the 1st of October, the implementation will proceed of the decision of the European Union on the registration of halloumi as a product of Protected Designation of Origin (POD), which can now be produced exclusively in Cyprus, as well as the approval of a relevant export regulation, through the Green Line Regulations.
As referred to in the article, a notable effort is underway in the occupied territories to increase the production of sheep and goat milk. More specifically, as reported by the Information and Press Office, the director of the Veterinary Department Mr Mehmet Yılmabaşar, as well as the president of the Stockbreeders’ Association Mr Mustafa Naimoğlulları, stated that this effort is proceeding smoothly and that they are very satisfied with this progress.
According to Mr Yılmabaşar, the forthcoming 3.5 million euro food safety plan, which is scheduled to run for three years, is expected to set new standards for the animal production and, inevitably, bring more profits to the community.
Mr Naimoğlulları kindly reminded that, during the designation process of halloumi, one of the conditions set by the EU was to produce the traditional product from 51% goat and sheep milk and 49% from cow’s milk. However, he emphasized that the 51% target regarding the sheep and goat milk is extremely difficult to achieve and that EU support will be essential during this effort.
Specifically on this issue, he said: “By 2030 we can achieve only a target of 30%. I have already mentioned this issue to the European Commission. In Southern Cyprus, at the moment the target is set for 2024. However, there is no way that we can reach 30% by 2024. The target should be rescheduled for 2030. In addition, the EU must provide us with financial support. It is essential that they provide the breeders in the North with supplementary support, additional to the total support already provided, as is done in the South. We need to set up a fund”.