Britain Fights 'Ridiculous' Chocolate Ban

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL EASTHAM

BRITAIN has vowed to fight a European move to label our chocolate as 'second rate'.

In the latest turn in a long-running dispute, Brussels has conceded that British bars can still be labelled 'milk chocolate' within the UK.

However, in the rest of Europe they will have to be called 'household chocolate' to distinguish them from continental bars containing more cocoa and less milk.

The British product would also be restricted to grocery stores and supermarkets and banned from confectioners. The plan was branded 'ridiculous' and 'discriminatory' last night by a House of Lords committee which denounced it as a deliberate attempt to damage our chocolate exports to the Continent.

They said the idea was 'entirely unacceptable' and demanded that the Government 'maintain their robust stand on this matter'.

The EU chocolate directive is still a proposal and must go before ministers from all 15 member states before it can be approved.

Britain will oppose it, as will Ireland, which makes the same style of chocolate.

But there are doubts over whether the UK will be able to persuade a majority of other countries to drop the plan.

Downing Street will be demanding changes to minimise the impact on the British confectionery industry.

In the past, Europe has suggested that our product be called 'chocolate containing vegetable fats other than cocoa butter', 'milk chocolate with a high milk content', or even 'vegelate'. …