HALLOUMI lovers are in for a shock as new EU rules mean that there could be a shortage of the cheese.
Government officials have been working to give the salty cheese protected status with specific rules about how it is made.
The new rules would mean that halloumi must be made from 50 per cent Cypriot sheep and goats' milk and 50 per cent Cypriot cows' milk.
Under the current transitional legislation only 20 per cent of the milk needs to come from sheep or goat milk.
But cheesemakers in Cyprus are saying that the rules will cut production of the cheese by as much as 60 per cent, reports the Daily Mail.
They are saying that the UK customers could be among the hardest hit, as Britain buys 40 per cent off all halloumi experts.
The new rules don't just determine the type of milk that has to be used, they also specific that it must come from certain breeds.
But an outbreak of Scrapie ten years ago led to a cull which means local herds are still suffering and there aren't enough animals to meet the specifications.
What's more the rules say that farmers need to make sure their livestock grazes on five specific herbs, but three of these are protected.
Giorgos Petrou, of the Cyprus Dairy Producers Association, told The Sunday Telegraph: "If the new designation is adopted, it will be a disaster for halloumi makers."
"It would cut exports by 60 per cent because there will be a lot less halloumi being produced."
The battle between cheesemakers and the Cypriot government has been raging on for some time now, since the new legislations were first mooted in 2012.
Nikos Papkyriakou, of the Pancyprian Organisation of Cattle Breeders told the Cyprus Mail that the rules cannot be put into practice.
He said: “They cannot be met, and it makes no sense to put restrictions on what milk can be used when today, even under the current regime, halloumi producers’ demand for milk cannot be met."
"The decision to register the PDO would be a suicidal decision for the halloumi industry.”
Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco hike halloumi prices after shortage warnings.
Aldi now does a Halloumi burger as it brings back sell-out fries.
And there could be a shortage of pigs in blankets this Christmas, according to the meat industry.
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