The secret is well and truly out when it comes to Cypriot staple halloumi, the cheese having made a name for itself around the world.But demand reaches new heights – last week the Cypriot government signed a protocol allowing the export of dairy products to China, where the cheese is becoming more popular – coupled with a shortage of sheep and goats, the prospect of growing business is also a growing concern among farmers.“It’s difficult enough servicing demand in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Australia,” said Alexis Pantziaros, a dairy farmer outside Larnaca, in an interview with The Guardian.“If the Chinese learn about it too, it will become impossible to keep up.”Traditionally made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, due to a limited supply, Cypriot authorities have been forced to increase the proportion of cow’s milk, up from 50 to 80 per cent – a controversial decision.“Not all of us have sheep and goats, and to meet standards you need them to make it,” said Andreas Andreou, director of the industry department at Cyprus’ chamber of commerce.“It’s only logical that if we go on like this there won’t be enough to go round.”Pantziaros revealed the situation is so dire he has been left with no other option but to import sheep from Italy and Denmark to keep up with demand.“There just isn’t enough milk,” he said.“In summer, when temperatures get up to 42C, the animals produce very little. It’s very difficult to get them pregnant. In such heat they don’t even want to eat!” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
As part of the partnership with The Nature Conservancy announced earlier this year, Zegrahm Expeditions, a leader in small-ship cruising and overland adventures, has welcomed The Nature Conservancy’s Melanesia Programme Director and Senior Scientist, Dr. Rick Hamilton, on its November Faces of Melanesia expedition. The first of several joint trips with The Conservancy, Hamilton will be part of the expedition team, educating guests on conservation projects underway in the region during lectures, site visits while in ports of call and through informal discussions.One of the most noteworthy conservation projects in the works is restoring healthy sea turtle populations in the Solomon Islands. In working directly with island communities, Hamilton and his colleagues were able to quantify the first known example of recovery for a western Pacific hawksbill rookery in the Arnavon Islands. On Zegrahm’s expedition, guests will be able to see — and participate in — similar work being done in another part of the Solomon Islands. On Tetepare Island, travellers will have the opportunity to join in turtle tagging by following local guides to find the turtles; bringing them back to shore to be tagged, weighed and measured; and then releasing them back to the sea.“We are thrilled to have Dr. Hamilton travelling with us in November — his knowledge of the region and its culture and marine life will be the perfect complement to our team of noted ornithologists, anthropologists, marine biologists and naturalists.” says Zegrahm President, Van Perry. “We are really looking forward to this exciting opportunity to showcase The Nature Conservancy’s work in a region we have been exploring for nearly 10 years.”Zegrahm’s partnership with The Nature Conservancy allows its travellers to learn more about The Conservancy’s work in 69 countries, as well as impart what we can all do to help protect nature. Plus, a portion of each guest’s trip cost will be contributed to The Conservancy over a three-year period to help fund conservation work — such as sea turtle restoration projects — across the globe.Zegrahm Expeditions has announced an exclusive offer to Virtuoso agents: Offer clients a $1000 per person air credit on small-ship cruises and $500 per person air credit on overland adventures—and agents will receive a $500 booking bonus. Offer expires 30 September 2016.