Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2019
Knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. came into existence on April 2, 2012 when the New York State Department of State (Division of Corporations and State Records) issued a filing receipt noting its “Exist Date” as of April 2, 2012. Pursuant to its Certificate of Incorporation, knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. is “a benefit corporation;”
Pursuant to the New York Business Corporation Law Sec. 1708(a), a benefit corporation must deliver to each shareholder an annual benefit report and pursuant to Sec. 1708(d) deliver a copy of the benefit report for filing to the Department of State for filing. Pursuant to Sec. 1708(c), a benefit corporation must post its most recent benefit report on the public portion of its website.
This Benefit Report for Year 2019 for knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. has been prepared by Frank W. Barrie, the benefit corporation’s President. Pursuant to the benefit corporation’s bylaws, at the annual meeting held on February 1, 2019, the shareholders elected three directors of the benefit corporation: Frank W. Barrie, Albany, NY; Edward Stevens, Loudonville, NY; and Kathryn Sikule, Albany, NY. At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on February 1, 2018, Frank W. Barrie was elected President of the Board, Edward Stevens was elected Vice-President of the Board, and Kathy Sikule was elected Secretary of the Board.
II. Process and rationale for selecting the third party standard used to prepare the benefit report
The mission of knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. conforms to the mission statement set forth on the website www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, i.e., to promote local agriculture by encouraging consumers to eat locally grown foods, which are produced in a sustainable and healthy way, or “organically” grown, so as to preserve and support small farm economies and to ensure a healthy environment for future generations. The Benefit Corp Information Center (www.benefitcorp.net) provides guidance on selecting a third party standard. Utilizing this guidance, the third party standard to assess the social and environmental performance of knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. was selected. Food Alliance (www.foodalliance.org) provides comprehensive third-party certification for social and environmental responsibility in agriculture and the food industry.
The voluntary, third-party certification program of Food Alliance is based on these six principles: 1. Protect, conserve and enhance soil, water, wildlife habitat and biodiversity; 2. Conserve energy, reduce and recycle waste; 3. Reduce use of pesticides and other toxic or hazardous materials; 4. Maintain transparent and traceable supply chains; 5. Support safe and fair working conditions; 6. Guarantee food product integrity, with no genetically engineered or artificial ingredients.
III. Ways in which the benefit corporation pursued general and specific public benefit during the year and the extent to which general public benefit was created
The benefit corporation was created in order to operate the website www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com. This website has three major directories, organized geographically, to provide information on (1) farmers markets, (2) community supported agriculture (CSA) farms, and (3) farm to table restaurants committed to the use of local and/or organic foods. Under each of these three categories, the website has a page for each state of the United States and each province of Canada, and under the dining category, there are also directories for Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico and in Europe: Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden and Wales. This information has been made available at no cost to visitors to the website thereby conferring a “general public benefit.”
The website has also freely provided directories and/or information on the following:
(1) Food Co-ops;
(2) Sources for the following local foods: cheeses, cooking/salad oils, honey, maple syrup, pasture raised meat and yogurt;
(3) Fair-traded tropical foods: coffee, tea and chocolate;
(4) Craft bakeries;
(5) Farm to Table Pizzerias
(6) A special dining directory where diners can have a meal on the farm or in the garden where food served is grown;
(7) Organic apples and organic & craft cider;
(8) Organic/heirloom/open source seeds;
(9) Local grains & flours;
(10) Local organic beans/legumes;
(11) Fresh flowers CSAs;
(12) Local Food Hubs;
(13) Farm Camps for kids/teens;
(14) Employment opportunities related to “meaningful food work” by providing links to (i) www.goodfoodjobs.com, and (ii) the Greenhorns, http://thegreenhorns.wordpress.com;
(15) Opportunities for organic farming experience by providing links to (i) World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and (ii) Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA); and
(16) Gardening topics including community gardens, home food preservation, container gardening, gardening tips and edible garden design/install.
The website has also published 55 posts in 2019 (approximately once a week). This content appearing on the website www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com is relevant to the good food movement’s goal to meet the standards of the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
There were 23 Food News posts in 2019: Onward in 2019 With Great News On Connecting Farmland & Next Generation Farmers (1/1/19); Vermont’s Sterling College Offering Future Farmers Tuition-Free College Education in Wendell Berry’s Henry County, Kentucky (1/11/19); Annual Fast-Food Scorecards Show Progress By Some Chains On Sourcing Meat From Suppliers Not Using Antibiotics (1/25/19); Almonds or Walnuts: One Nut More Nutritious Than Another? (2/22/19); Obesity Epidemic Spreading To Dogs (3/1/19); Celebrating Nine Years Of Support For The Good Food Movement (3/28/19); Global Study Ranks Nations on Diet-Related Deaths (4/16/19); 8th Annual Locavore Index: Vermont Still #1, But California Jumps To 2nd Place (6/12/19); Farm Aid 2019 Concert IN Wisconsin Dairy Country Near Milwaukee This September 21st (7/9/19); Know Where Your Wine Comes From & How It Was Produced (7/17/19); Center For Science in the Public Interest Starts Campaign Against Weakening Pig Safety Inspections on the Slaughter Line (8/15/19); Hospitals Sponsoring Farmers Markets: Let Food Be Thy Medicine (8/20/19); Wendell Berry’s Message Takes Root at Restoration Farm on Long Island, NY (8/30/19); Record Setting 282 Colleges Participate In Sierra Club’s 2019 Cool Schools Rankings (9/12/19); Scientist Specializing On Effect of Toxic Chemicals On Children, One of Three 2019 Recipients Of Rodale’s Organic Pioneer Awards (9/18/19); Creative Fundraising to Protect Family-Scale Farming IN the Upper Hudson River Valley (10/9/19); Big Ag’s Pork Sales To China Resume In Partial Trade Deal (10/23/19); 18th Annual Landscapes for Landsake Fundraiser To Protect Farmland Sets Record–Breaking Artwork Sales (10/29/19); Three Award Winning Children’s Books On Gardening, Nature & The Environment Honored as Inspiring (11/2/19); Nationwide Farm to School Movement Taking Root in New York State (11/13/19); Sweetgreen Adding Locations Nationwide: Expanding Possibilities for Healthy Fast Food (11/18/19); Visit to Inspiring Longfield Farm In Upstate NY, A Farm In Sync With Nature (12/6/19); and Membership in American Horticultural Society: Free Admission to Hundreds of Public Gardens Nationwide (12/19/19).
And there were 23 posts in the nature of Reviews.
Nine book reviews: Know That What You Eat You Are, The Best Food Writing From Harper’s Magazine (2/1/19); That’s Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle For Justice and Amelia’s Road: Two Children’s Books On Children of Migrant Farmworkers & Laborers (2/14/19); The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (4/11/19); Deeply Rooted, Unconventional Farmers In The Age Of Agribusiness by Lisa M. Hamilton (4/23/19); The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman (6/17/19); Cultivating Customers, A Farmer’s Guide To Online Marketing by Simon Huntley (8/27/19); Good Husbandry, Growing Food, Love, and Family on Essex Farm by Kristin Kimball (10/15/19); Good Garden Bugs, Everything You Need To Know About Beneficial Predatory Insects by Mary M. Gardiner (11/8/19); and The Emergent Agriculture, Farming Sustainability And The Return Of Local Agriculture by Gary Kleppel (11/22/19).
Nine restaurant reviews: Grazin’ in Hudson (Columbia County), NY (1/5/19); Sunhee’s Farm & Kitchen in Troy (Rensselaer County), NY (3/6/19); Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC (4/26/19); Whole Earth Center’s Deli & Bakery in Princeton, NJ (5/16/19); Saratoga Apple’s Farm to Table Dinners in Schuylerville (Saratoga County), NY (6/21/19); Bel Campo Meat Company in Santa Monica, CA (7/3/19); The Table at Fort Plain (Montgomery County), NY (7/29/19); Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria in Maplewood (Essex County), NJ (10/4/19); and Cheeseboard Pizzeria in Berkeley, CA (12/13/19).
One film review: Netflix’s Four-Part Series: Salt Fat Acid Heat (1/18/19).
Four reviews of art exhibits: Turner and Constable at the Clark Art Institute: An Artful Escape From 21st Century Industrial Agriculture in Williamstown, MA (2/8/19); Like Sugar at Skidmore College’s Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY (5/9/19); 12th Annual Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition at the Sage Colleges’ Opalka Gallery in Albany, NY (5/24/19); and Chew: Food As Muse at the Sage Colleges’ Opalka Gallery in Albany, NY (11/25/19).
Nine recipes using local and organic ingredients were also posted: Fermented At Home Sauerkraut (3/15/19); Fifteen Minute Cranberry/Walnut Porridge (4/4/19); Red Tart Cherry & Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake (5/2/19); Herbal Bug Spray Recipe (6/3/19); Herbal Bug Spray Finishing Touches After Infusing Herbs in Olive Oil (6/27/19); Savory Zucchini Cheese Bread (8/7/19); A Healthier Blueberry Crisp (9/3/19); Healthier Apple Crisp Using Local & Organic Apples (9/25/19); Maple Walnut Pumpkin Muffins (12/2/19).
Small ads/logos appearing on the website during 2016 have promoted the following organizations/entities (at no cost to these organizations/entities): (1) Native Seeds, www.nativeseeds.org, (2) Equal Exchange, www.equalexchange.coop, (3) American Farmland Trust, www.farmland.org, and (4) Chefs’ Consortium, www.chefsconsortium.com. These four organizations/entities reflect principles in harmony with the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
In 2018, the website also ran the ads/logos for three businesses: Liberty Tabletop, Fruition Seeds and My Pet Chicken. Liberty Tabletop is now the only manufacturer of flatware in the United States, and its concern for the American consumer’s health and safety is reflected in its commitment to only use stainless steel from American steel mills that follow stringent environmental and safety standards, to meet or exceed all federal and state environmental regulations and standards, and to never use harsh or carcinogenic chemicals in its manufacturing process.
A small ad also appeared on the three New York related pages for dining, CSA farms and farmers markets, respectively, to promote the Bees Knees Café operated by Heather Ridge Farm on the farm in Preston Hollow, NY which has a “fiercely local” food menu (at no cost to this farm café). The logo for Farm Share Studio is also featured on the website. Created by artist Laura Shore, Farm Share Studio focuses on Shore’s paintings, “which celebrate local food and the farmers who grow it.”
IV. Any circumstances that have hindered the creation by the benefit corporation of general or specific public benefit
V. Assessment of the performance of the benefit corporation
In the early spring of 2019, we improved the security of our website by migrating the content of the website to a new Genesis theme, utilizing the technical services of Mark Net Group, of Brewster, New York. Our new theme means a secure site with an added firewall. Our analytics report with information on traffic to the website, as a result of this migration, is limited to the nine month period April 1 through December 31, 2019. Traffic to the website, www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com during this part year period of 9 months consisted of 60,975 page views by 23,000 users.
During 2019, the benefit corporation also maintained an active Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom/]. As of the close of the year, our Facebook page has 656 followers, a substantial increase from the just under 400 followers at the close of the year, 2018. Our Facebook posts appear approximately every week.
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 89.04% were located in the United States and the five states with the most users in calendar year 2019 were New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, California and New Jersey. Approximately 3.21% of users were located in Canada, 1% in Australia and 1% in the United Kingdom.
VI. Compensation paid by the benefit corporation during the year to each director in that capacity?
VII. The name of each person that owns beneficially or of record 5% or more of the outstanding shares of the benefit corporation:
Frank W. Barrie