Milk producers in Cyprus are all set to hold a protest against the non-implementation of PDO( product of origin) requirement for halloumi, a type of cheese. Milk producers demand equal criteria for all milk products and their by-products, including halloumi.
Milk producers hold a meeting in Choirokoita on Thursday—a meeting attended by livestock breeders and MPs of trade and agriculture committees. Committees included committee chairs and other agricultural organisations.
The group of milk producers and other committees demanded proper implementation of legislation. It declared that they were not in favour of a five-year transitional period for full-fledged implementation of legislation.
A statement followed the meeting covered the views of Giorgos Demetriou, head of goat and sheep breeders. He said in a statement that they called on the minister of agriculture, Petros Xenophontos, to address the issue of milk producers on a priority basis.
The head of sheep and goat growers referred to well–known producers of cheese who were legally permitted to sell cheese labelled as “halloumi”, which does not even contain the minimum requirement of a ratio that is 10 per cent –goat and sheep milk.
There is only a penalty for cheese producers just again relabeling the product , who caught while violating the legal regulation. After relabelling the violater cheese producer can send his products even abroad without any problem.
Sheep and goat farmers demanding that milk ratios be increased from 20 per cent to 35 per cent by February and then up to 51 per cent by the month of June as per the previous agreement.
They are also demanding that fines for violators must be heavy and, at the same time strict punishment must be awarded to those who intentionally violate the legislation.
When asked whether livestock farmers can produce enough goat and sheep milk to fulfil the demand, the head of sheep and goat growers answered this question in the affirmative . he also noted that there has already been an increase of 45 per cent in production since the PDO label went into effect.
Earlier in the beginning of the month, the agricultural minister of Cyprus stated that his ministry of agriculture had prioritised incentives and support for the milk producers across the whole country.
The protest by sheep and goat producers is planned for October 18.