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Economy

After Halloumi OK, Cyprus Wants EU Imprimatur for Red Potato

September 12, 2022

NICOSIA – Cyprus wants the island’s red potato to get the European Union’s approval for a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product that was given to the so-called white gold halloumi cheese that doesn’t melt when grilled.

The government is preparing an official request to register the island’s second most important agricultural product, announced by Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis at a rural festival in Lefkara, who The Cyprus Mail said was speaking for President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We attach particular importance to highlighting the uniqueness of Cypriot products. The registration of halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin product is a collective success and our constant pursuit will be the registration of our other agricultural products on the lists of geographical indicators of the European Union,” said Kadis.

The newspaper said that the potato is popular abroad, particularly in the United Kingdom and Greece and the Cyprus government wants to protect farmers who grow them in red oil, which gives them an earthy flavor.

The Cyprus potato hit the headlines in 2021 with a story about a Big Potato that drew laughs when it was displayed in the potato-growing village of Xylofagou for its phallic resemblance.

The sculpture was erected to pay tribute to the potato, the main product of the surrounding “red villages’ – named for their red soil – ahead of the 2021 Potato Festival, to lure tourists to visit.

The government was also said to be moving ahead with sending a bill to Parliament that would establish a Cypriot official seal of approval for all agricultural products grown on the Greek-Cypriot side of the island.

 

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