Around 100 wine growers from France's Languedoc region have occupied the Chamber of Agriculture building in Nimes.

The growers, who stormed the building yesterday (7 December), have called for a meeting with French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, before Christmas to draw up a plan of aid specific to the Languedoc's agricultural community.

Further north in Bordeaux, around 50 wine growers, armed with breeze-blocks and cement, walled up the HQ of the region's wine federation, the CIVB, in protest to the slump in prices.

One of the protesters banners read: "Quality wine yes, but not at any price," while the slogan of another was: "Wine grower: a dying breed!"

"Traders aren't doing anything that allows growers to make a decent living so we've decided to prevent them from working and we'll do this until they agree to sit down and negotiate with us," a union representative for the growers said.

The protesters have threatened more action next week if the government does not back their plan to introduce a minimum bulk price level of EUR1,000 (US$1,182) a barrel.

Agriculture minister Dominique Bussereau is due to visit the region tomorrow.