Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2021
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 2021 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, 2021, 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, 2021, 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, Northern Ireland, 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 52 posts in 2021 (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 31 Food News posts in 2021: Resolution for 2021: Eat Locally-Grown & Organic (1/1/20); Needed But Not Easily Achieved: Avoiding The Consumption of Palm Oil (1/8/21); Grind Your Own: To Know For Certain what’s In Your Peanut Butter (1/15/21); Erasing The Trumpian Threats To Roll Back Food Assistance & Nutrition Standards (1/22/21); Over 2 Dozen Groups Call On White House To Order Delay Of Mergers In Food & Ag Industries (1/30/21); Livelihood From Farming One Acre On Edge Of Small Upstate NY City (2/5/21); Food Co-op Puts Down Roots In A Small Town & Also Helps Local Food Truck Entrepreneurs (2/13/21); Maple Sugaring Season Underway in Upstate NY’s Mohawk Valley (3/1/21); Congressional Investigation Prompts FDA To Act On Pervasive Problem Of Toxic Heavy Metals In Baby Food (3/13/21); Trader Joe’s Planning Second Store In Upstate NY’s Capital Region, Nine Years After First (4/16/21); Celebrate Earth Day: Support Local & Regenerative Farming (4/22/21); “Slow Food Coffee Coalition” Builds Support For Good, Clean & Fair Coffee For All (5/2/21); Growing Food In A Community Garden Offers Hope, Community & Good Food Especially Post-Pandemic (5/8/21); Should Your Morning Beverage Be Green Tea Instead Of Coffee? (6/16/21); Gluten-free Food Fad Undermined By Recent Scientific Study (6/25/21); Preserving The Cancer-Fighting Ability Of Garlic (7/14/21); Farm Aid 2021 Festival To Be Held Live On Sept. 25th In Hartford, Connecticut (7/22/21); On-Line Photo Collection Of Rural Farm Life From 19th Century To Present Now Includes More Than 17,500 Images (7/29/21); Slow Food USA’s Snail of Approval Award Program Expands Nationwide (8/6/21); Resilient Ag Movement’s Laura Lengnick Is Glynwood’s New Director of Agriculture (8/13/21); Rodale Recognizes organic Pioneers For 2021 In Iowa, New Mexico & D.C. (9/3/21); Despite Pandemic Trader Joe’s Ramping Up New Store Openings Including In Halfmoon In Upstate NY’s Saratoga County (9/17/221); Buy Art To Save Farms In Upstate New York’s upper Hudson River Valley (10/1/21); Three Award-Winning Picture Books For Children On Gardening & Nature (10/8/21); Two Artisan Bakeries Endure The Pandemic With Community Support (10/21/21); Thumbs Down On Nearly All “Fast Food” Beef In Latest Scorecard By Consumer Groups (10/29/21); Big & Global Is Better? Especially NOT When It’s Bread & Baked Goods (11/4/21); Honest Weight Food Co-op Providing High Quality Food Services On A College Campus In Albany, NY (11/23/21); Renowned Animal Behaviorist Temple Grandin Inspires Large Audience At NYS Writers Institute Event At UAlbany (12/1/21); Astounding: Panera Bread’s macaroni & Cheese Sandwich (12/17/21); Farmers Market “Business Incubator Program: Helps A Chemist Become A Baker With A Start-Up Scandinavian Bakery (12/29/21)
And there were 15 posts in the nature of Reviews.
Five book reviews: Guide To Winter & Spring Reading From American Farmland Trust Includes 2 Picks For Children, “Up In The Garden, Down In The Dirt” and “Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm Book About Food and Farming” (2/19/21); Human Sustenance: Sustainable Or Suicidal? Mark Bittman’s Animal, Vegetable, Junk, A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal (5/14/21); Rhubarb! Star Of The Show In Norwegian Culinary Traditions: Fire + Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein (8/20/21); Moving Onward From Disillusionment With Factory Farming: James Rebanks’ Pastoral Song (10/13/21); Now Is The Time To Farm Without Poisons: The Myths Of Safe Pesticides byAndré Leu (11/19/21);
Four restaurant reviews: Take Out Pizza Sustains Businesses & Consumers During The Pandemic: 9 Miles East in Saratoga Springs, NY (4/2/21); Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton, MA Sustains Operation During Pandemic With Grateful Community Support (6/1/21); Summer Music & Theater Winding Down In The Berkshires, But A Perfect Cheeseburger Still On The Menu At Prairie Whale (8/26/21); Light & Tender With Nutty flavor: Buckwhet Pancakses Make A Perfect Holiday Breakfast At Phoenicia Diner 12/23/21)
Two film reviews: Celebrities Bolster The Messsage In The Film Kiss The Ground: Restore Soil To Balance Earth’s Climate & Feed The World (3/5/21); Gunda: A Fully Felt & Riveting Documentary Film Of A Mother Pig’s Daily Life (6/7/21)
Three reviews of art exhibits: 400 Years Of The Hudson Valley’s Narrative History: Artfully Detailed By Visionary History Painter L.F. Tantillo, Including Its Food & Agriculture (3/22/21); Realistic Art Becomes Magical With Paintings Of Nature’s Fruitful Return To The Urban metropolis (5/18/21); Nature’s Mystical Undertones Take Root In Summer Art Exhibition At The Clark In The Berkshires (7/5/21)
Six recipes using local and organic ingredients were also posted: Michelle Obama’s Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe Tweaked For Local & Artisanal Cheese Lovers (4/9/21); Raspberry Walnut Muffins Made With Backyard Raspberries Still Bountiful In September (9/9/21); Choose Steel-cut Not Rolled Oats For Your Morning Bowl Of Oatmeal (9/24/21); Delicious Use Of “Volunteer” Pumpkins/Squash Growing Out Of Backyard Compost Bin: Maple Walnut Pumpkin Muffins (11/12/21); Post-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup Livened UP With Delicious Corn meal Dumplings (12/9/21); Light & Tender With Nutty Flavor: Buckwheat Pancakes Make A Perfect Holiday Breakfast (12/23/21)
Small ads/logos appearing on the website during 2021 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.
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
2021 was the second 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, 2021 increased substantially from 2020, to 91,158 page views in 2021 from 56,514 page views in 2020, and to 33,590 users in 2021 from18,236 users in 2020.
Nonetheless, traffic to the website continued to be reduced from the level seen in 2018. Why? The corona virus pandemic caused enormous challenges for the successful operation of restaurants. Our dining directories have been our most popular web pages over the past years. In comparison to traffic during 2021 with page views of 91,158, 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 2021, 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 752 followers. Our Facebook posts appear approximately every week.
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 80% were located in the United States and the five states with the most users in calendar year 2021 were New York (17%), Massachusetts (10%), California (8%), New Jersey (5%) and Virginia (4%). Approximately 6% of users were located in Canada, 6% in China, 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