Cypriot cheese names Halloumi and Hellim set to be granted PDO status: EC
Earlier today, the EC published the Republic of Cyprus' PDO application for Halloumi and Hellim in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU).
The published PDO application is open for comment for three months.
The Republic of Cyprus, an EU Member State since 2004, applied to secure PDO status for Halloumi and Hellim - the Greek and Turkish names for a traditional Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of goat’s, sheep’s and sometimes cow’s milk - in July 2014.
Turkish Cypriot producers in Northern Cyprus were concerned, however, that under the PDO the Republic of Cyprus would take sole responsibility for inspections.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island in response to an Athens-backed military coup.
One third of the island, which declared itself the Turkish Republic of Cyprus in 1983, is inhabited by Turkish Cypriots. The Republic of Cyprus, which accounts for the remaining two-thirds of the island, is populated by Greek Cypriots.
Following "tough discussions" with EC president, Claude Juncker, earlier this month, however, the Republic of Cyprus and Northern Cyprus came to "a common understanding as far as the geographical protection of Halloumi/Hellim cheese under EU is concerned."
Under the agreement, Bureau Veritas will audit Halloumi and Hellim plants across Cyprus.
The publication was welcomed by Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
"I am very pleased to see this application covering the whole of Cyprus go ahead," said Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
“Following many months of negotiations, we are now well on our way to showing what can be achieved when people commit to concrete results.”
“Geographical indications have demonstrated their potential for creating jobs and boosting farm income in rural areas throughout the EU, and I am confident that the successful registration of Halloumi/Hellim will do the same in Cyprus,” Hogan added.