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Comité régional d'action viticole (CRAV, Regional Committee for Viticultural Action), or sometimes Comité d'action viticole (CAV, Committee for Viticultural Action) is a French group of radical wine producers. It has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks including dynamiting grocery stores, a winery, the agriculture ministry offices in two cities, burning a car at another, hijacking a tanker, and destroying large quantities of non-French wine.[1][2] CRAV is mainly active in Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France, which is the French wine region which has been most plagued by surplus production and a subsequent need to adapt the quality and quantity of wine produced to changing market realities, including reduced domestic demand for simple wine for everyday consumption. This process, which has involved considerable European Union subsidies, has been difficult and painful to many smaller producers and has therefore met with various protests, of which CRAV is the most violent. CRAV's publicised demands have regularly included elements which are more-or-less impossible for French politicians to implement under European Union rules, since they would mean interfering with the single market and introducing national subsidies on top of the Common Agricultural Policy. The group has called for higher restrictive tariffs against the rising imports of wine from Spain and Italy, where lower social costs, less red tape and another industry structure leads to more economical wine production. CRAV members are frustrated with declining prices as demand for wine within France continues to drop, increasing competition from Spanish wine and Italian wine within France, increasing competition in the world market from New World producers, eroding sales, boycotts against French wine, and other serious problems. Frustration spreads far beyond radical producers. "Each bottle of American and Australian wine that lands in Europe is a bomb targeted at the heart of our rich European culture," argues grower Aime Guibert.[3] The French manager for the E. & J. Gallo Winery, Sylvain Removille, reports that he and his sales staff have repeatedly been physically assaulted.[4] Consumer preference for wine brands, uncomplicated wine labels, varietal labeling, and New World wine styles has led to expanding exports from Australia, Chile, the United States, and other New World producers. On the 17 May 2007 the group released a video in which it was stated that blood would flow if Nicolas Sarkozy failed to act to raise the price of wine.[5] In 2009 CRAV continued their actions against both bottlers and wine importers, including arson and the placing explosives at importer's facilities.[6][7] References ^ Telegraph.co.uk May 1, 2005: 'Wine terrorists' make streets run with Rioja ^ Decanter June 13, 2008: CRAV resurfaces with arson attacks ^ Wine war: Savvy New World marketers are devastating the French wine industry. Business Week (cover story), September 3, 2001 ^ How to sell Gallo to the French. Decanter, June, 2006, p. 160. ^ Decanter May 18, 2007: Deaths not ruled out in CRAV ultimatum to Sarkozy ^ Decanter, May 11, 2009: CRAV: new wave of attacks in south of France ^ Vitisphere, November 6, 2009: Languedoc : Le CRAV (Comité Régional d'Action Viticole) repasse à l’action (French) See also Champagne Riots Globalization of wine French wine External links BBC News - French wine-growers go guerrilla - linked 17 Jun 07 CRAV strikes again CRAV to hit 'even harder' as night of anarchy costs €3m CRAV: police ‘scared’ Violence returns to south of France Situation 'uncontrollable' as winemakers go on rampage in southern France