Comité Régional d'Action Viticole
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.
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 Spanish and Italian wine, where lower social costs, less red tape and a different industry structure leads to more economical wine production. Consumer preference for wine brands, uncomplicated wine labels, varietal labeling, and New World wine styles has also led to expanding exports from Australia, Chile, the United States, and other New World producers.
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. The French manager for the E. & J. Gallo Winery, Sylvain Removille, reports that he and his sales staff have repeatedly been physically assaulted.
- "'Wine terrorists' make streets run with Rioja" Daily Telegraph 1 May 2005
- "CRAV resurfaces with arson attacks", Decanter 13 June 2008:
- "Wine war: Savvy New World marketers are devastating the French wine industry". Business Week (cover story), 3 September 2001
- How to sell Gallo to the French. Decanter, June 2006, p. 160.
- "Deaths not ruled out in CRAV ultimatum to Sarkozy", Decanter 18 May 2007
- "CRAV: new wave of attacks in south of France, Decanter, 11 May 2009
- "Languedoc : Le CRAV (Comité Régional d'Action Viticole) repasse à l’action", Vitisphere, 6 November 2009 (French)