After seven years of languishing in EU corridors, halloumi will hit the market in October as a bona fide product of protected designation of origin (PDO).
As of October 1, Halloumi’s PDO status will mean that the squeaky cheese can only be produced in Cyprus, doing away with imitators claiming the crown.
Registering Cyprus’ traditional cheese is seen as a success as it arms authorities with another weapon in their fight against imitators looking to take a bite of halloumi’s market pie.
The extension was also given to ensure that producers on both sides of the green line can be certified to comply with the PDO conditions on the day of implementation and avoid availability gaps of halloumi/hellim in the market.
Meanwhile, Cyprus’ dairy producers are concerned they will not meet the strict description of the cheese in the PDO file. The file foresees that goat’s milk should by 2024 exceed cow’s milk, reaching a minimum of 51%, with a designated amount of mint, while the products can only be sold in the traditional folded block shape.
Secretary of the Cyprus Dairy Producers’ Association Andreas Andreou explained the PDO file says that goat’s milk used in the mix should be from local goat tribes, which should be fed with specific animal fodder.
“However, at present, 70% of the sheep and goat population in Cyprus are not native,” said Andreou. In recent years, sales and exports of halloumi shot through the roof, with 2020 bringing in a whooping €266.5 million. Studies show the market could bring in over €625 million in several years.
According to Dublin-based Researchandmarkets.com, the global halloumi market is projected to nearly double in six years to reach $737.0 million by 2027, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% from 2021 to 2027.