Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2015
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 2015 for knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com, Inc. has been prepared by Frank W. Barrie, the benefit corporation’s President/Secretary. The incorporator, Frank W. Barrie, is the President and Secretary of the benefit corporation pursuant to organizational meeting resolutions dated August 22, 2012. On October 16, 2014, the benefit corporation issued one-hundred shares of corporation stock to Frank W. Barrie, and on December 19, 2014, shares of corporation stock were issued to three minority shareholders. Pursuant to the benefit corporation’s bylaws, at the annual meeting held on February 2, 2015, 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 10, 2015, Frank W. Barrie was elected President of the Board and Edward Stevens 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 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, China and in Europe: Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Russia, Scotland 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 posted the following specific articles/items during 2014 (also at no cost to visitors to the website):
(1) A news report, No Processed Foods for 100 Days: A Doable New Year’s Resolution (1/1/15)
(2) A book review, Organic Farming’s Transformative Power: The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball (1/9/2015);
(3) A news report, Low Regard for Animal Welfare at Taxpayer Funded U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (2/1/15);
(4) A restaurant review, Fast Food Worth Eating in Pricey Manhattan (2/17/15);
(5) A restaurant review, The Tasting Table at Glen’s Garden Market: One of the Finest in Washington, DC (2/26/15);
(6) A news report, Grading of Maple Syrup Revised by USDA in Time for 2015 Sugaring Season (3/1/15);
(7) A news report, Cancer Research Arm of World Health Organization Views Roundup’s Glyphosate as ‘Probable Carcinogen’ (3/27/15);
(8) A restaurant review, Breakfast at Sub Rosa Wood Fired Bakery in Historic Church Hill Neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia (4/10/15);
(9) A news report, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon & Massachusetts Top the 2015 Locavore Index (5/4/15);
(10) A cookbook review, The Mitsitam Café Cookbook Inspires a Dinner Celebrating Virginia Peanuts, Salmon & Celery Root, With Maple Popcorn Balls for Dessert (5/6/15);
(11) A recipe, Five Minute Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal (6/1/15);
(12) A news report, California Drought Worsens: Another Good Reason to Join a Local CSA Farm (6/17/15);
(13) A book review, Apples Appreciated: Rowan Jacobsen’s Paean to Crisp, Sweet, Juicy & Complex (7/1/15);
(14) A restaurant review, Dinner at Copenhagen’s Relae, Winner of the 2015 Sustainable Restaurant Award (7/13/15);
(15) A book review, Urban Farmer Novella Carpenter’s Transformation of a Weedy Vacant Lot: A Story Told Well (8/6/15);
(16) A news report, Campaign Started for President Obama to Veto Any Federal Bill Preempting State GMO Labeling Laws (8/13/15);
(17) A news report, How Individual Members of U.S. Congress Voted on Labeling GMOs in Food (8/18/15);
(18) A restaurant review, Blue Corn Buttermilk Pancakes & American Pharaoh in Saratoga Springs (8/28/15);
(19) A news report, Idaho Ag Gag Law Knocked Down by Judge Protecting Freedom of Speech & Whistleblowers (9/4/15);
(20) A recipe, Delicious Delicata Squash Topped With Sautéed Local Pears in Cinnamon Butter in 30 Minutes (9/15/15);
(21) A news report, Consumer Reports: Lower Bacteria Count in Organic Grass Fed Beef (9/21/15);
(22) A restaurant review, Breakfast in Brooklyn: Brunching on Food From egg’s Own Upstate NY Farm (10/5/15);
(23) A news report, Dartmouth Ranked #1 for College Food in Sierra Magazine’s 2015 Rankings (10/11/15);
(24) A recipe, South Pond Farms’ Flavorful Celery Root & Leek Soup, Sweetened Subtly With a Pear (10/23/15);
(25) A news report, Food Writer/Activist Mark Bittman Speaks at Albany’s Writers Institute (10/27/15);
(26) A news report, Hard to Know Where Your Salmon Comes From (11/10/15);
(27) A cookbook review, A Garden’s Simple Food Inspires Alice Waters’ Flavorful New Recipes (11/17/15);
(28) A recipe, Pumpkin & Kale (or Spinach) Lasagna (11/20/15);
(29) A restaurant review, Savoring the Wild & Wonderful at London’s Rabbit (12/3/15);
(30) A news report, Local Newspaper Asks: Who’s Making Trader Joe’s Food? (12/10/15);
(31) Art exhibit review, The Art of the Farm: Lavern Kelley’s Folk Art (12/14/15);
(32) A restaurant review, Delicious Farm to Table Dining in Orlando, Florida (12/21/15).
The website has also freely provided information on the following topics:
(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) Organic apples;
(6) Organic/heirloom seeds;
(7) Local grains & flours
(8) Employment opportunities related to “meaningful food work” by providing links to (i) www.goodfoodjobs.com, (ii) Northeast Organic Farming Association, www.nofa.org; and (iii) the Greenhorns, http://thegreenhorns.wordpress.com;
(9) 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
(10) Gardening topics including community gardens, home food preservation, container gardening, gardening tips and edible garden design/install.
The content appearing on the website www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com is in harmony with the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
Small ads/logos appearing on the website during 2014 have promoted the following organizations/entities (at no cost to these organizations/entities): (1) Native Seeds, www.nativeseeds.org, (2) the documentary, Brunswick, www.brunswickfilm.com, (3) Equal Exchange, www.equalexchange.coop, and (4) American Farmland Trust, www.farmland.org. These 4 organizations/entities and two businesses reflect principles in harmony with the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
In 2015, the website also ran the ads/logos for two praiseworthy businesses: Liberty Tabletop and Pure Alaska Salmon Company. 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. Pure Alaska Salmon Company markets wild Alaska salmon which is harvested sustainably, especially important in light of the difficulty of knowing where salmon for sale in markets and restaurants comes from.
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)).
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 period January 1 through December 31, 2015, traffic to the website, www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com increased substantially from the prior calendar year, January 1 through December 31, 2014. The number of page views increased 56.7% to 57,715; users of the website increased 72.0% to 32,124; and sessions 89.8% to 37,603. Traffic to the website during the calendar year 2015:
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The geographic location of visitors:
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