Israel’s vegan revolutionary now spreading the word on plant-based food in New York
At the forefront of the vegan revolution in Israel, Omri Paz, the founder of Vegan Friendly, has now set his sights on bringing his model to the United States market.
Vegan Friendly, a self-sustaining nonprofit founded in 2012 to promote veganism and animal rights and improve access to plant-based food, is planning to expand its activities to the US after launching in the United Kingdom about two and a half years ago.
“What makes us unique is that we have created a huge ecosystem that gives businesses and restaurants benefits, much more than just the labeling or certification of being vegan friendly,” Paz told The Times of Israel. “With us, they can participate in our events, and we can connect them to thousands of our members through exposure on social media, our app and the website.”
In Israel, which hosts the world’s highest per capita vegan population, 1,800 businesses including restaurants and hotels are certified with the pink and green Vegan Friendly heart sticker. Over 500 food manufacturers such as Unilever, Nestle, and Strauss use the Vegan Friendly seal to label over 10,000 plant-based products certifying that they meet strict criteria.
Additionally, Vegan Friendly has built a community of over 6,000 people in Israel who donate a monthly sum toward the organization’s attempts to raise awareness and encourage veganism or vegetarianism, Paz said. Together with the Tel Aviv Municipality, Vegan Friendly this year hosted a three-day Vegan Fest touted as the world’s largest vegan event, with cooking classes, food stands,