The small glass jugs filled with green or gold coloured extra virgin olive oil are familiar and traditional for restaurant goers across Europe but they will be banned from 1 January 2014 after a decision taken in an obscure Brussels committee earlier this week.
From next year olive oil \”presented at a restaurant table\” must be in pre-packaged, factory bottles with a tamper-proof dispensing nozzle and labelling in line with EU industrial standards.
The use of classic, refillable glass jugs or glazed terracotta dipping bowls and the choice of a restaurateur to buy olive oil from a small artisan producer or family business will be outlawed.
Around here people will collect the olives from the trees that dot the country side (traditionally, each was owned and ownership known, but that\’s rather fallen by the wayside) and take them off to the local mill and get them pressed. This would be the household\’s oil for the year. And some of the smaller restaurants do much the same. This law will now force everyone to buy industrially produced and bottled oil:
The European Commissions justification for the ban, under special Common Agriculture Policy regulations, is \”hygiene\” and to protect the \”image of olive oil\” with a measure that will benefit struggling industrial producers in Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.
As is so often the case, regulation is a method of killing off the small guy in favour of the large industrial companies.
Someone\’s going to have to remind me why we don\’t rise up and strangle the fuckers.