Effective as of:  August 1, 2011

The www.thefern.org web site (the “Web site”) is operated and presented to users by Food & Environment Reporting Network Inc. (“FERN”). This Privacy Policy covers use of information collected by FERN.  Our Privacy Policy is designed to assist you in understanding how we collect and use the personal information you provide to us and to assist you in making informed decisions when using our site and our products and services.  Our Terms of Use are an integral part of this Privacy Policy and is herein incorporated by reference.

What Information Do We Collect?

When you visit our Web site you may provide us with two types of information: personal information you knowingly choose to disclose that is collected on an individual basis and Web site use information collected on an aggregate basis as you and others browse our Web site.

  1. Personal Information You Choose to Provide

Registration Information.

You will provide us information about yourself, your firm or company, and your practices when you register to be a member of our Web site, register for certain services, or register for email newsletters, alerts, promotional programs and the like. You may also provide additional comments on how you see us servicing your needs and interests.

Email Information.

If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.

  1. Web Site Use Information

Similar to other commercial Web sites, our Web site utilizes a standard technology called “cookies” (see explanation below, “What Are Cookies?”) and Web server logs to collect information about how our Web site is used. Information gathered through cookies and Web server logs may include the date and time of visits, the pages viewed, time spent at our Web site, and the Web sites visited just before and just after our Web site.  We, our advertisers and ad serving companies may also use small pieces of code called “web beacons” or “clear gifs” to determine which advertisements and promotions users have seen and how users responded to them.

How Do We Use the Information That You Provide to Us?

Broadly speaking, we use personal information for purposes of administering our business activities. Occasionally, we may also use the information we collect to notify you about important changes to our Web site or of informing you about new information that we think you will find valuable. You may notify us at any time if you do not wish to receive these communications by emailing us at info@thefern.org.

What Are Cookies?

A cookie is a very small text document, which often includes an anonymous unique identifier. When you visit an Internet site, that site’s computer asks your computer for permission to store this file in a part of your hard drive specifically designated for cookies. Each Internet site can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits an Internet site to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites.

How Do We Use Information We Collect from Cookies?

In some cases, we use cookies to prevent you from seeing unnecessary advertisements or requiring you to log in more than is necessary for security. Cookies, in conjunction with our Web server’s log files, allow us to calculate the aggregate number of people visiting our Web site and which parts of the site are most popular. This helps us gather feedback in order to constantly improve our Web site and better serve our users. Cookies do not allow us to gather any personal information about you and we do not generally store any personal information that you provided to us in your cookies.

Sharing Information with Third Parties

We do not generally share information you provide to us with third parties.  However, we may use third parties to facilitate our business, including, but not limited to, sending email and processing credit card payments for donations, and accordingly these third parties will have access to your personal information solely for use in connection with our business activities. We may also transfer your information in the course of a sale, merger, or dissolution of FERN.

How Do We Secure Information Transmissions?

Email is not recognized as a secure medium of communication. For this reason, we request that you do not send private information to us by email. Some of the information you may enter on our Web site may be transmitted securely via Secure Sockets Layer SSL, 128 bit encryption services. Pages utilizing this technology will have URLs that start with HTTPS instead of HTTP. Please contact us at info@thefern.org if you have any questions or concerns.

How Can You Access and Correct Your Information?

You may request access to all your personally identifiable information that we collect online and maintain in our database by emailing info@thefern.org.

Certain Disclosures

We may disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or subpoena or if we believe that such action is necessary to (a) conform to the law or comply with legal process served on us or affiliated parties; (b) protect and defend our rights  and property, the Web site, the users of the Web site, and/or our affiliated parties; (c) act under circumstances to protect the safety of users of the Web site, us, or third parties.

Confidentiality and Security 

We limit access to personal information about you to staff who we believe reasonably need to come into contact with that information to provide services to you or in order to do their jobs.

The information provided to us is saved indefinitely and may be stored on one or more databases directly or indirectly maintained or overseen by us. We take all reasonable precautions to keep your personal information secure and we have put in place industry standard physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards designed to protect personal information about you. While we cannot guarantee that loss, misuse or alteration to data will not occur; we make every effort to prevent such occurrences.

Your Responsibilities

You are responsible for the security of your account information, such as usernames and passwords, which give you access to your private information maintained by us. Make sure you keep your account information in a safe place and do not share it with others. Note that key-loggers, viruses, or other surveillance devices can intercept login information on the computers from which you access our website, so you should take precautions regarding such devices, especially from public computers.

Compromise of Personal Information

In the event that your personally identifiable information is compromised as a result of a known or suspected breach of security, we will promptly notify those persons whose personal information has been compromised, in accordance with the notification procedures set forth in this privacy policy, or as otherwise required by applicable law.

Notification Procedures

It is our policy to provide notifications, whether such notifications are required by law or are for marketing or other business related purposes, to our users via e-mail notice, written or hard copy notice, or through conspicuous posting of such notice on our web site page, as determined by us in its sole discretion. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we reserve the right to determine the form and means of providing notifications to our web site users.

What About Other Internet Sites Linked to Our Web Site?

We are not responsible for the practices employed by other Internet sites linked to or from our Web site nor the information or content contained therein. Often links to other Internet sites are provided solely as pointers to information on topics that may be useful to the users of our Web site.

Please remember that when you use a link to go from our Web site to another Internet site, our Privacy Policy is no longer in effect. Your browsing and interaction on any other Internet site, including Web sites which have a link on our Web site, is subject to that Web site’s own rules and policies. Please read over those rules and policies before proceeding.

Your Consent

By using our Web site you consent to our collection and use of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy.

The Privacy Policy set out above is effective as of the date set forth above, and applies to all information previously obtained by us. We reserve the right to change the Privacy Policy at our sole discretion. Our users will be informed of any such change by us posting a new Privacy Policy on the Web site and the effective date of any change of Privacy Policy will be clearly marked. As required by law, we will not use personal information in ways that are materially different from the ones described in this Privacy Policy without also providing notification of such practices and obtaining consent to any such different uses. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here, by email, or by means of a notice on our home page.

Questions and Suggestions 

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us at:

Food & Environment Reporting Network Inc.

Attn:  Tom Laskawy

576 Fifth Ave., Ste. 903

New York NY 10036

Email:  info@thefern.org