AN ethical supermarket has been rapped in an argument over olive oil.

Sustainable supermarket Hisbe, in York Place, Brighton, had to apologise to its customers after it was told it could no longer sell the ingredient on tap.

EU legislation imposes a rule which states olive oil cannot be resealed after it has been opened.

A spokesman from the supermarket said “the Government sent their man to tell us off” after a complaint from a shopper.

He said: “We’ve been shopped.

“Guys, this could be an end to our olive oil refills, because it seems selling virgin olive oil on tap is actually illegal.

“Well, they don’t call us supermarket rebels for nothing

“We apologise to our many disappointed customers and we will find a way to solve this.

“We’re not about to give up on refilling when it’s the right thing to do for a sustainable food future.

“So, the big question is, do you think we should bow to the rules and take it off sale, or risk prosecution in the name of the refill revolution?”

Hisbe, which stands for How It Should Be, encourages its customers to reduce waste. It aims to transform the food industry by challenging the way big supermarkets do business.

After the announcement of the crackdown on olive oil, its customers took to social media to show their support.

One said: “I’ve been buying your olive oil and think the re-fill is a brilliant idea”.

Another said: “What kind of sinister mindset goes to the authorities over olive oil on tap”.

An officer from the Rural Payments Agency told the store it must stop selling the product on tap immediately.

The store’s spokesman said: “A big thank you to our customers and supporters for your encouragement, common sense and wit over this daft situation.

“You’ve given us some great ideas to work around it – and some good laughs too.

“Big love to our olive oil suppliers and wholesalers too, who are equally frustrated by these food fraud rules.

“And remember kids, it’s illegal to sell olive oil on tap, even when you are 100 per cent sure it’s pure, because the Government says it might not be.”

The store offers a range of everyday groceries sourced from small, local producers and brands that “trade responsibly, fairly and sustainably”.

The store, founded by Amy and Ruth Anslow, officially opened in 2013 by Brighton MP Caroline Lucas.