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Tag ‘loaf’

Pinta and loaf under threat

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

Eurocrats in push to pull the plug on the pinta (Daily Mail 30 January 2006)
The traditional pinta is under threat from the EU which wants to replace it with litre and half-litre bottles. Milk is one of a number of staples Brussels wants put in standardised metric packages. Bread, sugar, butter and rice are also being targeted.

No pints? Dairy me (The Sun 30 January 2006)
Meddling Brussels Eurocrats want to ban the traditional British pinta and replace it with metric sizes.

Pint-sized EU upstarts (Daily Express 30 January 2006)
We must save our pinta. The EU bureaucrats think we should quaff our milk, and beer, in litres and half litres. […]The Daily Express has news for them. In Britain, we have been happy with pints, miles an hour and feet and inches for hundreds of years – and no one is confused.

Also in: 
Sunday Times 29 January 2006
Daily Mirror 2 February
Birmingham Post 3 February
Yorkshire Post 3 February

Well, it looks like the press is confused, anyway! The European Commission is in favour of keeping the British pint and loaf.
Under a new drive against red tape, the Commission wants to repeal a number of useless European laws leaving businesses free to decide what kind of packaging to use for goods such as the pint and loaf. The confusion arose when the European Parliament wanted to introduce standard sizes for milk packaging. However, an amendment allows for the use of both metric and imperial measurements. Bread packaging will continue to be governed by national law.
As unelected, barmy Eurocrats we at the Commission cannot decide these things alone. The elected representatives in the European Parliament, including those from the UK, form part of the decision-making process. They voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal to simplify the existing rules on package sizes European Parliament press release on 2 February 2006. And even if the majority had wanted to introduce standard sizes for products like milk and bread, this could not happen without the agreement of the UK Government.
So the loaf and pinta are here to stay, protected and not threatened by the European Union’s rules.

(See also BBC Online about the pinta saga, with Head of European Commission Representation in the UK Reijo Kemppinen’s comment:

Standard loaf size

Monday, October 27th, 1997

Daily Mail, 27 October 1997, p29
Brussels bureaucrats are planning the end of the traditional standard loaf. Under current Weights and Measures laws, standard loaves should weigh either 400 or 800 grams. But the EU claims this a barrier to European bakers who might want to sell bread of different sizes in our shops. It is claimed that increased competition will be good for shoppers bringing prices down, but the Federation of Bakers claim this will cause confusion and could drive prices up and any move away from standard loaves will require new equipment.

There have never been any proposals from the Commission to scrap the British loaf. There is no EC legislation on the size of loaves of bread, this is in fact a national initiative. Rules do exist to ensure that the unit price of bread is indicated, regardless of weight.
Directives on indication of prices do not prescribe any particular weight of loaf and specifically confirm that Member States can continue to use traditional bread sizes. It is difficult to see how this has been interpreted as a threat to the British loaf. There may be increased competition but that is all part of the aims of the single market.

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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