Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2022
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 2022 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, 2022, 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, 2022, 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 2022 (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 30 Food News posts in 2022: Real & Healthy Food For All Regardless Of Income Status (1/4/22); Both Coffee & Tea In The Diet, Alone Or In Combo, Associated With Reduced Risk Of Dementia & Stroke (1/28/22); Frozen Berries & Broccoli Come In Handy During Winter (2/11/22); Think Spring AND Sign Up For A CSA Farm Share (2/18/22); Food Co-op Doubles Value Of Food Stamps If Used To Purchase Produce (3/4/22); Three Days To Spring & Time To Shop Seeds For Vegetable Gardens (3/16/22); Delicious Pancake Breakfast During Maple Season (3/24/22); Remembering Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s Message Of Mindfulness By Savoring Time & Taste (3/31/22); Especially Now: Know Where Your Eggs Come From With Avian Flu Spreading & Growing Need To Protect Flocks Of Chickens & Turkeys (4/7/22); Surprising “Investors” Speculating On Farmland Purchases (4/22/22); Food Security Unease? Still Time For A CSA Farm Share This Growing Season (5/6/22); Finding & Enjoying The Perfect Cup Of Brewed Coffee (5/21/22); “No Mow May” Coming To An End As June Nears (5/27/22); Maple Syrup Season In 2022 Saw Increase To 34 Days From 27 Days In 2021 & Double-Digit Rise In Gallons Of Nature’s Sweet Bounty (6/20/22); Heal The Land & Reclaim Our Health: Our Interview With David Montgomery & Anne Biklé On The Proof Provided In Their New Book, What Your Food Ate (6/30/22); New York Botanical Garden Spotlights Edible plants And What Humans Eat On Its 250-Acre Landscape & In Its Galleries This Summer (7/5/22); Tickets On Sale This Saturday For Farm Aid 2022 Festival In Raleigh, North Carolina On Saturday, Sept 24 (7/27/22); Slow Food USA’s Snail of Approval Award Program Expands Nationwide (8/6/22); “No Mow May” Grows Into Blossoming Goldenrod In Late August (8/27/22); Nourishing Local Communities By Celebrating America’s Farmers Markets (9/2/22); USDA Lays An Egg With Its Proposed New Animal-Welfare Rule (9/20/222); Finding A Perfect Cup of Coffee On a long Planned Vacation In Canada (9/29/22); Landscapes for Landsake Exhibition This Upcoming Columbus Day Weekend & Virtually To End Of October (10/4/22); Four Award-Winning Picture Books On Gardening & Nature (10/18/22); Vermont’s Sterling College Remains #1 For Food & Dining (10/26/22); 90 Coffee Roasters Now Spotlighted With Addition of Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company (11/4/22); Happy Thanksgiving & Still Opting For Turkey After All These Years (11/24/22); Eating Seasonally In the “Great Northeast” As First Day Of Winter Nears (12/9/22); Farmland Speculation: Bah Humbug! (12/22/22); Singing Praise In Winter For The Mighty Cabbage Easily Transformed into Sauerkraut With Its Many Health Benefits (12/30/22)
And there were 11 posts in the nature of Reviews.
Nine Book Reviews: The Farm That Feeds Us by Nancy Castaldo (2/3/22); Vegetables Unleashed, A Cookbook by José Andrés (2/24/22); Alice Waters Cooks Up A Food Revolution by Diane Stanley (3/11/22); The 24-Hour Soup Kitchen by Stephen Henderson (4/13/22); Dumpling Day by Meera Sriram (5/13/22); What Your Food Ate, How To Heal Our Land And Reclaim Our Health by David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle (6/24/22); Resilient Agriculture, Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate by Laura Lengnick (7/22/22); Wastelands, The True Story Of Farm Country On Trial by Corban Addison (10/11/22); Pig Years by Ellyn Gaydos (12/1/22)
Two Restaurant Reviews: Vermont’s Skinny Pancake Puts Down Roots In Albany, NY (6/10/22); On A Farm In Rural Upstate N’s Delaware County: The Finest Mexican-Cuisine Meals North of the Border (8/11/22)
Five reviews of Art & Museum Exhibits: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Featuring Michaelina Wautier’s Five Senses: Must-See Paintings First Time Exhibited Together In 370 Years (1/20/22); Artful Photos Capture The Grange Movement & Rural Farm Life At Mohawk Valley’s Arkell Museum (7/14/22); Artful Reminder That Pears & Apples Should Soon Be Ripening As Summer 2022 Winds Down: “Summer Pears and Apples” at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (8/18/22); Artful Tribute To Agriculture At The Hudson Valley’s Tivoli Artists Gallery (9/7/22); The Farmers’ Museum Spotlights Positive Trends Across America For Tomorrow’s Farmers (9/14/22)
Eight Recipes using local and organic ingredients were also posted: Delicious Blue Skillet Cornbread Perfect With A Bowl Of Homemade Soup (1/14/22); Chocolate Chocolate Chip & Pecan Banana Muffins: Delicious Indulgence But With Beneficial Phytochemicals (4/29/22); Vareniki (Ukrainian dumplings) half filled with sauerkraut and other half with Morello Cherry fruit spread (5/13/22); Mocha Coffee: Eye-opening Boost Of Anti-Occidentals In the A.M. (6/17/22); Better Choice: Savory Zucchini Bread Instead Of A Sugary Quick Bread (8/3/22); Morning Glory Muffins: Flavorful Treat To Start The Day (11/11/22); Sweet Potato Hummus: Perfect Appetizer/Dip For Thanksgiving (11/18/22); The Perfect Cookie Recipe To Inspire The Spirit Of Charitable Giving: “Everything Cookies” (12/17/22)
Small ads/logos appearing on the website during 2022 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. These three organizations/entities reflect principles in harmony with the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
In 2022, the website also ran the ads/logos for three businesses: Liberty Tabletop, Fruition Seeds and Mill and Mountain. 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.” And the logo for the culinary consultant, Noah Sheetz, who works with cook supervisors at youth detention centers throughout New York State on menu development and procurement of local ingredients and to establish educational programs for cooking and gardening is also featured.
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
2022 was the third 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 secure site for the 12 month period January 1 through December 31, 2022 increased substantially from 2021, to 115,985 page views in 2022 from 91,158 page views in 2021, and to 40,366 users in 2022 from 33,590 users in 2021.
Traffic to the website has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Our dining directories have been our most popular web pages over the past years, and with the pandemic easing, restaurants have seen a return to more normal levels of business.
During 2022, the benefit corporation also maintained an active Facebook page. As of the close of the year, our Facebook page has 781 followers. Our Facebook posts appear approximately every week.
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 74% were located in the United States and the five states with the most users in calendar year 2022 were New York (13%), Massachusetts (9%), California (7%), Virginia (6%) and Illinois (5%). Approximately 9% of users were located in Canada, 6% in China, 2% 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