02/02/10 Vegetarian Tourist Offer

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Croatian Chamber of Trade and Crafts
Gild of caterers and tourist workers in Croatian chamber of trade and crafts
Mr. Zlatko Puntijar, president
Ilica 49/II
10000 Zagreb

February 2, 2010

Subject: Vegetarian tourist offer

Dear Mr. Puntijar

Animal Friends is a nonprofit organization engaged in promoting animal rights and vegetarianism.

According to the latest polls, conducted for us by SPEM Communication Group, 3,7% vegetarians live in Croatia. With that we are approaching the number of vegetarians in Western countries, which in some EU countries constitute 6% of the population. Just to note that there are more vegetarians in Germany than Croatia's population.

Since Croatia is a tourist country, it is important that our tourist industry follows the trends and adapts to its guests. As an organization that promotes vegetarianism we often receive inquiries from abroad about the vegetarian offers in Croatia, especially on the coast.

For five years already in the campaigns "Tourists are Vegetarians, too" Animal Friends' activists each summer organize vegetarian tasting in coast cities, in order to draw attention to the tourists who do not find adequate gastronomic offer.

Although some catering facilities monitor demand and adjust its offer by adding vegetarian meals, tourists who do not want to eat food of animal origin do not have a big choice.

The most common problem that tourists complain about is non-educated staff, which offers fish as vegetarian meal instead of meat, not knowing that vegetarians do not consume animals, including fish. Another common problem is that vegetarians are often being offered side dishes (such as chard and potatoes) instead of finding vegetarian offers in the menu, which guests, especially in the long term, are not satisfied with.

Since last year Animal Friends is authorized to issue licenses for the use of the European V-Label which in Croatia for now has the hotel Cherry Blossom from Liznjan. V-Label provides a guarantee to tourists that products or service meet all the criteria and that in the production process no animal ingredients are used. Also, through a database at the official site www.v-label.info tourists can find information on restaurants and catering establishment that have vegetarian meals in their offers. Of course, in the process of issuing licenses Animals Friends will provide interested caterers with instructions on how to properly prepare vegetarian meals and if necessary, provide a short lecture to the staff of the restaurant.

We kindly ask you to give influence to the expansion and improvement in the supply of vegetarian offers in restaurants in your county and spread the news of the existence of the European V-Label in Croatia.

More information about the V-Label can be found in the leaflet that we enclose and at the web page www.vi-label.info which was translated into Croatian. You can learn more about vegetarianism and vegetarian recipes at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr. We are at your disposal for any questions.

Best regards,

Ivana Surjan

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