Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2020
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 2020 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 3, 2020, 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 3, 2020, 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.
- 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 2020 (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 33 Food News posts in 2020: Pondering the Meaning of Organic As The New Year Begins (1/1/20); Latest Xtreme Eating Award: Cheesecake Factory’s Cinnamon Roll Pancakes With 3 Day Supply Of Sugar (1/29/20); Sourcing Healthy Foods In Winter At Year Round Farmers Market In Frigid Upstate NY (2/6/20); Red Raspberries + Fair Trade Dark Chocolate = Award Winning Tasty Stimulation (2/11/20); Military Faces Challenges Getting Its Troops Trimmer (2/19/20); Trader Joe’s Organic Plain Yogurt Made With Milk From 100% Grass Fed Cows Available in Gotham (3/13/20); March 2020: Now More Than Ever, Time To Sign Up For A Farm Share In A CSA (3/21/20); Take-Out Pizza Businesses Booming During Virus Pandemic (3/26/20); 3 Cheers For American Farmland Trust’s Relief Fund For Farmers (4/1/20); Farmers Markets Finding Ways To Operate During Pandemic (4/8/20); More Essential Than Ever: Food Banks & Community Gardens (4/22/20); Food Co-ops Rise To The Challenges of Social Distancing of Shoppers During Pandemic (5/1/20); Healthier Fast Food Options Still Available During Pandemic (5/8/20); Zeroing Out “CAFOs” in 20 Years: “Farm System Reform Act” Making Headway in DC (5/15/20); Small & Local Farm to Table Restaurant endures Pandemic With Heartfelt Values (5/21/20); Persuasive Position of “Beyond Pesticides”: Perceive Green Lawns Untreated With Chemical Pesticides As Ecological (5/29/20); American Farmland Trust Offering Cash Prizes For Top 3 Farmers Markets in USA (6/18/20); Home-Grown Raspberries Make It A Cinch To Meet Recommended Dietary Guidelines (7/1/20); Rodale Institute Announces Its Organic Pioneer Award Winners for 2020 (7/15/20); Breads From Inspiring Sparrowbush Farm Bakery Available At Farmers Market In Historic Hudson In Upstate NY (7/23/20); USDA Urged To Reject Weakening Of Evidence-Based Recommendations Of Its 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (8/7/20); From Lawyering in Oakland, CA to Cheesemakers Extraordinaire In Upstate NY’s Adirondacks: Nettle Meadow Sanctuary Farm & Cheese Co. (8/20/20); Farm Aid 2020 Goes Virtual Later This Month In A Free Live-Streaming in HD (9/3/20); Lesson Learned From A Master Beekeeper: Knowledge & Great Care Required To Produce Local Honey (9/9/20); No Inflammation Risk From Tomatoes In Your Diet: Enjoy This Season’s Bountiful Crop (9/17/20); Smart Steps Taken By Craft/Artisanal Bakery In Upstate NY College Town To Endure the Pandemic (10/2/20); Slow Food’s Global Festival Goes Digital With Offerings From October To April 2021 (10/7/20); 19th Annual Art Sale & Exhibition, Landscapes for Landsake, Goes Virtual Until 10/30/20 (10/13/20); Health Benefits Of Honey Put This Sweetener In A Special Category (11/5/20); Slowing Down The Rush To Farm & Selll Tons Of Genetically Engineered Salmon (11/12/20); Perfect Picture Books For Children: Four Award Winners On Gardening, Nature & The Environment (11/18/20); Supporting the Little Things That Run The World: growing Milweed (12/2/20); Tennessee’s Clarksville Downtown Market Crowned American Farmland Trust’s “People’s Choice” Farmers Market (12/10/20);
And there were 12 posts in the nature of Reviews.
Seven book reviews: Cooking With Nourishing Herbs: Holly Bellebuono’s The Healing Kitchen (2/25/20); The Promise Of Food Co-ops In The Age Of Grocery Giants (3/5/20); Clarion Call From Downunder For The GLOBAL Transformation Of Agriculture (6/12/20); Recipes For Simple Plant-Based Meals Especially Helpful For Newly Vegan-Curious Cooks (6/23/20); Rooting Social Justice In power & Knowledge Over How Your Food Is Grown & Distributed (8/1/20); Connecting To Family Roots In West Africa While Baking A Chocolate Cake In A Gently-Told Story For Young Children (8/14/20); American Democracy Undermined By Powerful Monopolies With Big QG, A Prime Excample: BREAK”EM UP (9/23/20);
One restaurant review: Easing-Up On “Cooking For Yourself” With Meals At Cafés On The Farm (7/7/20); .
Two film reviews: Filmmakers Give Meaning To “Sustainable” Agriculture In Award-Winning Documentary (1/12/20); Filmmakers Demonstrate In Short Documentaries: Why Regenerative AG Means Future Human Health (4/13/20);
Two reviews of art exhibits: Food Related Fine Art On Exhibit In The Big Apple (1/21/20); Visionary Artist, Lin May Saeed, Focuses On The Human-Animal Relationship (20/20/20); .
Seven recipes using local and organic ingredients were also posted: Homemade Savory Seed Crackers: Crispiness Achieved On 2nd Attempt (1/7/20); Sweet Red Beet Hummus: Healthy Snacking In The New Year (1/18/20); Delicious Cherry Vanilla Ice-Cream: Easy To Make In A Jar At Home (6/4/20); Call It Cobbler or Crisp, Local Peaches Make For A Delicious & Healthier Late-Summer Dessert (8/27/20); Pumpkin Pecan Waffles: Perfect Treat For Late October (10/27/20); Simple & Special Side Dish, Sourced Locally, Will Light Up Thanksgiving Table (11/24/20); Delicious Old Fashioned Gingerbread Using Wheat & Ryue Flours For Extra Flavor (12/22/20)
Small ads/logos appearing on the website during 2020 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 2020, 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.
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.”
- Any circumstances that have hindered the creation by the benefit corporation of general or specific public benefit
- Assessment of the performance of the benefit corporation
2020 was the first full year that the content of the website was available for users on a secure site with an added firewall, utilizing the new Genesis theme established in spring of 2019. Traffic to our new secure site for the 12 month period January 1 through December 31, 2020 consisted of 56,514 page views by 18,236 users.
Traffic to the website was greatly reduced from prior years as the result of the corona virus pandemic which caused the almost universal closing down of restaurants for indoor dining. Our dining directories have been our most popular web pages over the past years, but with dining in restaurants verboten or strictly limited during the pandemic, traffic to the website was substantially reduced from prior years. (In comparison, page views in 2018 and 2017 were 110,288 and 73,017. (In 2019 when we migrated to our new secure theme, our traffic information was limited to the 9 month period, April 1 through Dec. 31 and consisted of 60,975 page views.)
During 2020, 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 just over 700 followers. Our Facebook posts appear approximately every week.
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 84% were located in the United States and the five states with the most users in calendar year 2020 were New York (14%), California (12%), Massachusetts, (9%) Virginia (5%), and Illinois (4%). Approximately 7% of users were located in Canada, 1% in Australia and 1% in the United Kingdom.
- 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