In a very tense Consejo plenary yesterday the proposal of Fedejerez to modify the wording of the regulations to eliminate misinterpretation in relation to BIB was approved. Earlier the Junta had said the rules could be interpreted as allowing BIB to the catering trade, but suggested a proposal to change them as a simple way to make them clear. This would ratify the decision taken at the plenary of 29th September, and approved by 95% of the sector, that all DO Sherry should be sold only in glass. The Junta will have to give this the green light, but the representative of the rebel s, the Association of Artisan Bodegas of Sanlúcar threatened to take action against those who had voted in favour. He complained the Consejo had not issued suitable DO labels for BIB, but the response was that until the rules were clear they could not do so. They are clear now.
Though the BIB affair took up most of the time at the meeting there was still time for other matters. The Consejo will arrange an extraordinary meeting to approve the agreement on calling the elections as soon as they receive the decree from the Junta, which regulates all the DOs in Andalucía. It looks as if the elections will take place at the end of April or the beginning of May.
There was also time to approve the budget, which will be 2.4 million Euros, 1.45m of which will be spent on promoting Sherry in the principal export markets. This budget is 4.6% less than last year due to falling sales as the trade pay a levy to the Consejo as a proportion of wine sold. Over the coming weeks staff at the Consejo will be presenting their proposals to generate public funds, especially from the EU before the window closes in February.