A new ban on restaurants serving olive oil in jugs is \”silly\” but not a reason to quit the European Union, Danny Alexander has said.
It isn\’t a reason to quit, no.
But it is symptomatic of all of the reasons to quit. That, you know, we\’re being ruled by fuckwits.
The law only applies to olive oil. Try English rapeseed oil instead.
Tim, can you clarify the situation in Portugal? According to this article this law has existed in Portugal since 2006.
Tim adds: Whether the law exist or not I’ve no idea. Restaurants most certainly don’t use pre-packaged bottles on the tables down here though.
why not apply a big dose of common sense and just ignore it. If nothing else, the first court case will be amusing!
The most confusing thing about this is if the restaurant is keen to mess about with the table oil, why would they not mess around with all the other things they are going to feed you?
Having a nice label is no protection from getting a horse meat lasagna when you wanted beef, it’s no protection from getting cheap olive oil either.
It occurs to me that if a restaurant stops serving “olive oil” and offers instead its house blend of olive oil with a hint of thyme, it’s business as usual for the bowls and jugs.
It would be good to see the scientific evidence this decision was based on. I mean, there is some, right?
How this will work out: everyone in the Med countries will ignore it, while some zealous wankers in the UK will prosecute some small restaurant and fine them
From EU Referendum, which you all should be reading:
There is an amount of wibbling over the announcement of an EU requirement to serve olive oil in restaurants in labelled, non-resealable bottles. In particular, we get complaints that the measure is -authoritarian and damaging to artisanal food makers-, and condemnation of unaccountable technocrats (see comments).
What is interesting, though, is that this proposal has been on the table for some years, as a way of increasing the support for the quality end of the industry, and reducing fraud. Marked, single-use bottles, it is felt, will reduce the amount of product adulteration, and thereby up the purchases of higher-grade product.
The Italians were calling for non-refillable bottles in 2009 and two months ago passed the so-called -Mongiello Law- – on which the EU law is modelled – which requires single-use bottles or packs. Meanwhile, the Portuguese industry has been using non refillable bottles in restaurants since 2005, with positive results.
Nevertheless, it is easy for the media to get renta-quotes from up-market Belgravia restaurants, and the statutory eurosceptic, about -EU bureaucrats-, but they are missing the mark.
The measure was only proposed by the commission after prolonged lobbying by producer organisations and after evidence of its effect in at least two countries. As to the law itself, it was passed not by EU bureaucrats but by member state officials, acting on instructions from their own governments, working through the mechanism of the food industry Management Committee.
In the committee, the measure was backed by fifteen member states, mainly the Mediterranean olive producers, including Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain and France, but also with the support of Ireland and Poland. Britain abstained and opposed were mainly northern states, amongst which were Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Yet, for all the hyperventilation of the Telegraph Media Group Ltd, it concedes that the Spanish Association of Bars, Cafes and Restaurants has supported this new law. -Now we will be able to guarantee the quality of extra virgin olive oil on the table,- said a spokesman – exactly the point made by an embarrassed commission spokesman on Friday, himself insufficiently briefed to tell the full story.
And despite his inadequacy as a spokesman, given the widespread problem of olive oil adulteration which even the loss-making Guardian has noticed, he did have a point.
Sam has it. If da rulez say you can’t make courgette marmalade then call it something else.
Then one is left to wonder why Spanish bars, cafes and restaurants couldn’t just put bottles on their tables instead of waiting for a law to tell them to.
I confess that this has me puzzled.
Since 1995, “good” restaurants that I have visited in Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal have provided olive oil in labelled bottles.
Small bars in these countries have provided olive oil in small jugs.
Does this new law actually change anything?