Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2016
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 2016 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 1, 2016, 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, 2016, 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 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, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico and in Europe: Denmark, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, 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 posted the following specific articles/items during 2016 (also at no cost to visitors to the website):
(1) A book review, Perfectly Written Recipes: The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook (1/6/16);
(2) A news report, Food Co-op Struggles To Maintain Discount for Members Working in Store (1/19/2016);
(3) A news report, Field Goods Celebrates Its New Distribution/Warehouse Facility in NY’s Hudson Valley (2/1/16);
(4) A book review, Longer Lives for Dogs: Know Where Rover’s Food Comes From (2/9/16);
(5) A restaurant review, Hearty Breakfast at OEB and Dinner at Rouge in Calgary, Alberta (2/22/15);
(6) A restaurant review, Breakfast: How to Cook Southern in the Big City (3/2/16);
(7) A news report, Defeat of Effort in U.S. Senate to Stop States From Requiring Foods With GMOs To Be Labeled (3/16/16);
(8) A film review, Michael Pollan & Alex Gibney Discuss the making of the Netflix Series Cooked (4/1/16);
(9) A recipe, Spring Treat: Cranberry Pecan Waffles With Seasonal Maple Syrup (4/13/16);
(10) A news report, Rotate Your Baby’s Food, Just Like Your Puppy’s (4/22/16);
(11) A restaurant review, Pizza Night At Ken’s Artisan Bakery In Portland, Oregon (5/2/16);
(12) A news report, Wholesale Market For Local Farm-Fresh produce Now Operating at NYC’s Hunts Point (5/10/16);
(13) A recipe, Easy & Delicious Asparagus Recipes To Celebrate Spring (5/20/16);
(14) An exhibit review, College Art Majors Hit The Mark: Fat, Sugar, Salt & Marketing (6/2/16);
(15) A news report, Tips For Storing The Bounty As 2016 CSA Farm Season Gets Underway (6/14/16);
(16) A restaurant review, Lunch at Brooklyn’s Runner & Stone Bakery and Café (7/1/16);
(17) A news report, Federal DARK Act Limiting Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law Resurrected (7/1/16);
(18) A restaurant review, Mouth-watering Pizza From a Wood-Fired Oven the Size of a VW (7/13/16);
(19) A recipe, Easy To Make 2 Ingredient Banana Blueberry “Ice-cream” (7/29/16);
(20) A news report, Sold-Out Forever Farmland Supper Prepared by Chefs’ Consortium Celebrates Local Farmland Conservation (8/10/16);
(21) A news report, The POTUS Signs “Dark Act” Blocking Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law (8/19/16);
(22) A news report, 2016 Farm Aid Concert in Northern Virginia’s Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater in Bristol (8/24/16);
(23) A news report, 200 Universities & Colleges Participate in Sierra’s Coolest Schools Rankings & Vermont’s Sterling College #1 For Food (9/7/16);
(24) A restaurant review, Late Summer Pig Roast at the Barn at Mary’s Restaurant in Bristol, Vermont (9/16/16);
(25) A news report, Government Officials Urged to Block Mega-Mergers of Seed/Agro-Chemical Corporations (9/20/16);
(26) A book review, Who Eviscerates The Turkeys processed For The American Plate? Dan Barry’s The Boys in the Bunkhouse (10/1/16);
(27) A cookbook review, Seasonal Recipes from the Beekman Boys: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook (10/12/16);
(28) A restaurant review, Delicious Breakfast Wraps In The American Heartland: Lincoln, Nebraska (10/21/16);
(29) An exhibit review, Freaks, Radicals and Hippies: Counterculture in 1970s Vermont (10/26/16);
(30) A news report, Food Festival’s Moveable Feast Fortifies Local Farm Economy & Community Rebuilding (11/1/16);
(31) A cookbook review, Sweet & Savory Recipes Featuring pure maple Syrup (11/10/16);
(32) A news report, Food and Farm Conference Confronts Challenges Posed by Climate Change (11/11/16);
(33) A restaurant review, Lunch at Hilltop Café on The Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire (11/18/16);
(34) A recipe, Cranberry Pecan Muffins: Thanksgiving Breakfast Treat (11/23/16);
(35) A restaurant review, Finding Comfort in Peasant Dishes of Tuscany at Hyde Park’s Culinary Institute of America (12/5/16);
(36) A news report, Two Ways to Save Farmland: State Grants & Municipal Funds to Purchase Development Rights (12/15/16);
(37) A recipe, 12 Gingerbread Boys, Plus A Mom & A Dad, Inspired By Heirloom Recipe from Pleasant View Farm (12/21/16).
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) 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, (ii) Northeast Organic Farming Association, www.nofa.org; and (iii) 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 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 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, and (3) American Farmland Trust, www.farmland.org. These 3 organizations/entities reflect principles in harmony with the six principles of the Food Alliance certification program delineated above.
In 2016, 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)).
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, 2016, traffic to the website, www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com increased substantially from the prior calendar year, January 1 through December 31, 2015. The number of page views increased 25.7% to 72,538; users of the website increased 43.9% to 46,236; and sessions 42.6% to 53,609. Traffic to the website during the calendar year 2016:
|Average Visit Duration:||01:01|
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 90% of visitors were located in the United States and the ten states with the most Sessions in calendar year 2016:
|1. New York||7,118|
|4. New Jersey||2,293|
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