Monday, 2 November 2015

2.11.15 Evaristo Babé Explains BIB Situation

In today’s Diario de Jerez Evaristo Babé, president of Fedejerez, outlines the situation as he sees it:

"The problem, which is really an internal matter and a mere storm in a teacup if you consider the really important problems facing the Sherry business, is that a small but vociferous minority of ten bodegas in Sanlúcar is illegally using BIB to sell declassified wine – for which they have been denounced – and now they are trying to use the DO Manzanilla. The regulations for the sale of Sherry and Manzanilla state that “DO wines for public consumption shall be in a container of glass or any other material which the Consejo might specify." The BIB is neither made from glass nor approved by the Consejo, so it cannot legally be used. Like it or not those are the regulations.

Of course they could seek to change the rules, but this would have to be done through the proper channels as established in legislation. So long as nobody seeks to change the rules, those already in force must be obeyed. Anyone who does not agree with the rules can always leave the DO as there is no requirement to belong.

Beltran Domecq and Evaristo Babe
What does not fit in a democracy is flagrant breaking of the rules and the responsible public administration not acting immediately to ensure the law is observed. Public administrations are obliged to do this by checking, verifying, investigating and inspecting any activity which might be necessary. Given the importance of this matter, the need for the Junta to act is fundamental. It is not just a question of mediating between who is breaking the law and who is not, though efforts have been made to achieve a negotiated solution, but of making the former comply.

It is also worth pointing out that the illegal and churlish press conferences called by a small group of bodegas are very seriously prejudicing the trade and in particular the image of the area’s DOs. This is very serious. The ten bodegas in question read out a manifesto making them look like victims in this and advocating a sort of “civil disobedience” like separatist politicians in Cataluña, yet they only represent about 4% of the Sherry trade and 20% of the Manzanilla trade. What about the rights of the 96% and 80% who obey the law completely? Let’s be serious and show some respect please.

Another point is that the non-compliance is also affecting the business of those who are complying, though they could seek damages, and they should not have to put up any longer with unfair competition. They pay their taxes upon which many jobs most certainly depend, and they feel let down by a minority who for months have been refusing to obey the law.

We need to get things back on course as soon as possible, to calm down the lawbreakers and get them to obey the law. It is also necessary for the Junta to take action to ensure this by prosecuting those who seem proud to break the law and stopping them from doing such damage to a free market and to those who obey the law."

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