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BBC Scotland's David Allison reports
"In Beith, it would appear that revolution is in the air"
 real 28k

Monday, 2 July, 2001, 20:00 GMT 21:00 UK
Fighting on the peaches
Fruit stall
EU regulations lay down minimum fruit sizes
A Scottish supermarket is in the frontline of a battle with the European Union - over peaches.

The row between the Co-operative chain and Brussels stems from new regulations on the size of the fruit.

And the group's store in Beith in Ayrshire is one of three it has chosen in the UK to take a stand against European Union Directive 2335/99.


What we are trying to do is highlight the fact that these laws are in place and really call on the government to do something about them

Gwyneth Smedley, head of branding
This states that between 1 July and 1 October peaches must be at least 56mm in diameter.

The Co-op in Scotland's John Fraser said the revolution against Brussels was starting in Beith with undersized organic peaches imported from Italy.

In the store there is a poster saying: "I am small and perfectly formed, but legally you can't buy me."

But Mr Fraser said the fruit would be on the shelves from Tuesday morning.

He said: "The customer will then have the informed choice of which they would rather purchase."

However, the Co-op's head of branding, Gwyneth Smedley, said she did not think it was a revolution.


We should not forget that all these norms have been demanded and requested for years by the industry and by the retailers

EU spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber
"What we are trying to do is highlight the fact that these laws are in place and really call on the government to do something about them," she said.

EU agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler is watching developments with interest.

His spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber said: "There is a certain amount of surprise in Brussels because we should not forget that all these norms have been demanded and requested for years by the industry and by the retailers."

As if fighting them on the peaches is not enough, the Co-op says it is looking at extending the protest to apples, plums, and carrots.

However, the supermarket revolution has a strict sell by date as the Co-op's organic peaches will only be available for three weeks.

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