The issue of bread weights labelling was in the spotlight again this week, following a European Council ruling that national restrictions on the size of pre-packaged goods should be abolished.

The news is the latest development in the long-running European debate over the EU Nominal Quantities Directive (British Baker, January 6, pg 3). The issue will now be sent back to the European Parliament for further debate and could be approved by Euro MPs early next year.

Federation of Bakers’ director Gordon Polson said: "It will be several months before a decision will be made. There will be some political horse-trading first. Nothing much has changed; the European Council has always favoured deregulation."

At the moment, packaged bread over 300g in weight has to be sold in set sizes in the UK: 400g, 800g and 1,200g. The European Com-mission voted in December 2005 to exclude bread and other staples from the derivative.