Improving city-wide catering
The core focus of the Harrogate Animals People Planet Initiative (HAPPI) is enabling a better Harrogate for everyone - particularly improving available options for vegans.
Harrogate was in the spotlight nationally and internationally when it hosted the Tour de France Yorkshire in June 2014. With thousands of tourists visiting the town, HAPPI decided to capitalise on this. With no existing local information about vegan catering, HAPPI raised awareness amongst businesses with regard to supporting vegan visitors to the town. They distributed a survey to determine how vegans would be catered for and how other dietary needs would be met, including places welcoming breast-feeding.
Information from the survey was collated and now appears on their website and has been incorporated into tourist information leaflets. Businesses are continually being supported with information on how to improve their offerings to vegans in particular (which automatically caters for everyone else!). Reaching out to non vegan-conscious businesses raises both awareness and also increases the number of venues that will begin adding plant-based options to their menus.
In addition to improving the town’s options for vegans, HAPPI have recently been working on spreading their vegan message further than just local businesses; visiting pro farming MP, Andrew Jones, to offer alternative ideas to animal farming, they discussed the Grow Green document and veganism in general, as well as the problems with animal agriculture and the environment. They have also had a successful day handing out leaflets and recruiting members in the town centre, and are organising 6-weekly vegan potlucks and support group meetups.