The project: description
The Gluten-Free Blanes project was initiated in 2016 by the Economic Promotion Area of Blanes City Council with the goal of creating an extensive gastronomic offering within the municipal district for celiac customers or those with gluten intolerance.
The number of sufferers of celiac disease is growing by the year and those affected encounter all sorts of difficulties when it comes to eating out, since not many establishments offer gluten-free products or menus that give celiac sufferers the guarantees they need about what they’re eating.
To guarantee the total trust and peace of mind of celiac consumers, Blanes City Council has signed a collaboration agreement with the Celiac Association of Catalonia. This organisation awards its “Gluten Free” accreditation to establishments with suitable facilities and with staff who’ve received specific training in making products and dishes for celiac sufferers. Furthermore, it offers advice, training and support for companies that target the celiac market.
In 2017, as part of the programme for the promotion of innovative and distinctive projects, Girona Provincial Council granted a subsidy to Blanes City Council for its Gluten Free project, aimed at raising the profile of businesses in the restaurant sector and at highlighting the importance and benefits of applying the legal measures related to celiac disease, with a view to laying the foundations for similar actions in other towns and cities.
The subsidy for the Gluten Free project has also been awarded by Girona Provincial Council in 2018.
This project has continued during the year 2019 within the framework of the Singular Project, of the Xarxa d’ateneus Cooperatius i Projectes Aracoop for the promotion of the social economy and cooperativism, incorporating the joint work between the different agricultural cooperatives of the territory.
Blanes has begun to work towards obtaining the seal that distinguishes it as a Gluten-Free City, carrying our promotional activities, awareness-raising actions and training related to the new brand. Meetings have been held with associations, companies and entities that are already involved in the project or that might be involved in the future, including the Blanes City Centre Shopkeepers’ Association, the Girona Chamber of Commerce, the Blanes Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Grenyal Gastronomic Association, the Altimir Formació training company and the Som Celíacs (We’re Celiac Sufferers) association.
Furthermore, gluten-free products will be present in the largest possible number of activities organised by Blanes City Council, such as when handing out of sweets during the parade of the Three Kings at Christmas.
The benefits for eating establishments are numerous: increase in clientele (not only those with gluten intolerance but also those who accompany them when eating out); distinct offering setting them apart from other establishments in the food sector; additional quality; promotion and advertising through the resources of Blanes City Council.
It’s estimated that by forming part of this scheme, these establishments could increase their turnover by between 5% and 8%.
In 2018 and 2019, the establishments interested in obtaining accreditation have access to a free advisory service provided by the Altimir Laboratory.