Dutch to oppose 'bizarre' EU olive oil ban at Brussels summit
The European Union is to ban olive oil jugs and dipping bowls from restaurant tables.

Last week Britain abstained, while the Dutch voted against, in a vote during an obscure EU agriculture management committee opening the door for the European Commission to implement the ban next year.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, told his country's parliament that a blocking minority against the ban was overruled when Britain, along with other countries, abstained or switched their votes to support the ban.

"I think it is too bizarre for words and incomprehensible to come with this sort of proposal at a time like this," he said.

"It will add to the burden on the hospitality industry and inspectorate. It is also bad for the environment because you cannot refill the jar and so lots of glass is wasted."

Mr Rutte is raising the issue with Jose Manuel Barroso, the commission president, in the wings of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday 22nd May 2013.  

Following the ban, from January 1 2014 any olive oil "presented at a restaurant table" must be in pre-packaged bottles with a tamper-proof dispensing nozzle and labelling in line with EU industrial standards.

The traditional use of classic, refillable glass jugs or glazed terracotta dipping bowls will be outlawed, effectively ending the choice of a restaurateur to buy olive oil from a small artisan producer or family business.