Benefit Corporation Report for Year 2018
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 2018 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, 2018, 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, 2018, 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 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, (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 website has also published 53 posts in 2018 (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 29 Food News posts in 2018: Chile’s war on its obesity epidemic rooted in controlling marketing of processed foods (1/9/18); Health benefits of hot tea (1/26/18); To get college students to eat veggies requires marketing pizazz (2/18/18); Changing political situation in Chile puts marketing controls of processed foods at risk (2/20/18), Maple sugaring season underway (3/15/18); Citizen lawsuit against industrial chicken processing facility producing 2.4 million gallons of daily waste moving forward (3/30/18); Pineapples growing in Providence, Rhode Island (4/5/18); Bananas superior to sports drinks in aiding athletes’ recovery from intense workouts (4/12/18); Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen of fruits & veggies with pesticide residues ranked for 2018 (4/19/18); Impressive farm to table dining at certain hotel restaurants (4/26/18); Canning of Maryland tomatoes for retail sale brought back by praiseworthy Woodberry Kitchen, a farm to table restaurant (5/10/18); Heritage farm in NYC’s Staten Island growing 45 tons of produce (5/23/18); Vermont ranked #1 Green State in U.S. reaching out for new residents (6/1/18); Arkansas improves its Locavore Index as a result of Heifer International’s developing a CSA program state-wide (6/8/18); Peach farmer David Mas Masumoto receives organic pioneer award from Rodale Institute (6/13/18); Fast Food Frankenstein concoctions (6/27/18); Teff, the world’s tiniest grain, grows in popularity (7/3/18); Nature’s Path, winner of Rodale’s 2018 organic pioneer award, resigns in protest from the Organic Trade Association (7/10/18); Live webcast available at no cost of sold out Farm Aid 2018 concert to be held in Hartford, CT on Sept. 22nd (8/7/18); Rural public library system shares locally grown fresh veggies and fruits (8/23/18); Sierra Club’s 12th annual cool schools ranking spotlighting top ten for food (9/20/18); Farmland preservation organization raises funds from successful art show of landscapes for sale by 60 artists (9/26/18); Food Tank’s Summit in NYC on avoiding food waste (10/5/18); Best children’s books on gardening (10/11/18); Community Orcharding network helps consumers find organic apples (10/18/18); Farmstead Creamery’s pastoral operation closed down and replaced by a more industrial-scale one (11/2/18); Study of 70,000 adults suggests organic food diet reduces risk of lymphomas and breast cancer (11/10/18); Carrot Project grows the local farm economy in New England and Hudson River Valley (11/27/18); Center for Science in the Public Interest challenges marketing campaigns by Coca Cola and Jamba Juice in the courts (12/8/18).
And there were 16 posts in the nature of Reviews.
Nine book reviews: The Hidden Half of Nature, The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David Montgomery and Anne Bikle (3/7/18); The New Bread Basket, How the New Crop of Grain Growers, Plant Breeders, Millers, Malsters, Bakers, Brewers and Local Food Activists Are Redefining the Daily Loaf by Amy Halloran (3/12/18); Fermentation On Wheels Road Stories, Food Ramblings and Do-It Yourself Recipes by Tara Whitsitt (3/23/18); Homegrown Whole Grains, Grow, Harvest and Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn and More by Sara Pitzer (5/2/18); Growing A Revolution, Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David R. Montgomery (5/29/18); The Farmette Cookbook, Recipes and Adventures From My Life On an Irish Farm by Imen McDonnell (8/14/18); Why You Eat What You Eat by Rachel Herz (9/13/18); A Precautionary Tale, How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage and Inspired a Movement by Philip Ackerman-Leist (12/3/18); and Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Café by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick (12/20/18).
Five restaurant reviews: True Food in Nyack (Rockland County), NY (1/19/18); Field Notes at Lansing Farm in Colonie (Albany County), NY (7/16/18); Seeds Market Cafe at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield (Berkshire County), MA (8/3/18); de la terre Bakery & Café in Vineland (Ontario), Canada (9/5/18); and Sofra Bakery & Café in Cambridge (Middlesex County) MA (11/19/18).
One film review: Look and See, A Portrait of Wendell Berry (2/1/18). And one review of an art exhibit: Art and the New England Farm at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme (New London County), CT (6/19/18).
Eight recipes using local and organic ingredients were also posted: Spinach and smoked chicken gratin (1/3/18); Organic Montmorency cherry cobbler for Valentine’s Day (2/13/18); Common Good Soup Kitchen’s popovers (5/17/18); Blueberry rhubarb cobbler (7/23/18); Eggplant stew (8/29/18); Apple crumble (10/26/18); Homemade Herbes de Provence (12/14/18); Apple cakelets (12/24/18).
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, (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.
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). 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
In the period January 1 through December 31, 2018, traffic to the website, www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com remained steady, saw a substantial increase in the number of page views to 110,288 from the prior year’s 73,017 page views. The number of users and sessions during 2018 remained steady with 40,732 and 47,379, respectively in 2018, compared to 42,476 and 49,128 in 2017.
During 2018, the benefit corporation has maintained an active Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom/]. As of the close of the year, the Facebook page has nearly 400 followers, with Facebook posts appearing approximately every week.
Traffic to the website during the calendar year 2018:
|Average Visit Duration:||:56|
Although users of the website are located world-wide, 87% were located in the United States and the five states with the most users in calendar year 2018 are New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and Michigan. Approximately 4% of users were located in Canada.
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