Potential halloumi shortage sparks social media panic

Are we about to run out of halloumi? [Photo: Getty]

Every now and then we hear about a food or drink shortage and it sends the entire world into complete panic.

First there was the worldwide prosecco shortage, then came the threat of losing our favourite brunch dish when news of an avocado shortage hit, horrifying hipsters and foodies the world over. 

And no longer would we take our flat whites for granted, when warnings hit that coffee could actually be extinct by 2080. 

The latest food under threat is humble halloumi.

Experts believe that a world shortage is likely as farmers in Cyprus struggle to cope with the ever-rising demand.

The new-found popularity of the rubbery cheese in China is also said to be contributing to the concern.

Britain leads European consumption of halloumi, importing about 9,000 tonnes a year.

But China has recently taken a shine to the trendy Mediterranean staple.

Last week, the Cypriot government signed a protocol allowing the export of dairy products to China. But this has lead to concern from producers that they won’t be able to keep up with demand.

“It’s difficult enough servicing demand in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Australia,” Cypriot farmer Alexis Pantziaros told The Guardian. “If the Chinese learn about it too, it will become impossible to keep up.”

Experts say Cypriot exports of halloumi has increased from about 6,000 tonnes in 2013 to 26,000 tonnes this year.

John Pittas, export director for halloumi supplier Pittas Dairy Industries, told the Financial Mirror that the UK is already experiencing a supply shortage as they struggle to keep up with demands from supermarkets.

And with Australia preparing to host the world’s first halloumi festival in Melbourne next weekend, halloumi sellers are concerned we could run out of the foodie favourite.

Of course the news of a potential halloumi shortage hasn’t gone down well with Twitter.

This year hasn’t been all bad news for halloumi fans however. Earlier this year, Nando’s announced it was adding halloumi sticks to its UK menu.

The chicken emporium revealed a few new items on its menu, but it was the squeaky cheese wedges that caused the most excitement.

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