The Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) is the first and only independent, non-profit, non-partisan news organization that produces award-winning investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health through publication partnerships with respected regional and national media outlets. Through impartial, unbiased, fact-based “watchdog” journalism from experienced reporters, we seek to reveal corruption, abuse of power, and exploitation and to expose activities and subjects that are hidden or often ignored. The Food & Environment Reporting Network uncovers and explores news critical to the public’s right to know about food, agriculture, and environmental health.

We’ve chosen to focus on food, agriculture, and environmental health specifically because these subjects touch our lives every day in profound ways. There are a wealth of urgent stories to be told and as editors and reporters with decades of writing about these subjects under our belt, we will do so in a timely and compelling way.

Currently, investigative reporting is at risk as an enterprise. Historically a loss-leader for publishers, in-depth reporting has always been the backbone of good journalism. Yet tight budgets have forced many outlets to reduce investigative staff while those that remain are forced to do more with less time and support.

New media has challenged the old model of journalism and has opened opportunities to spread stories far beyond their original publication. We believe the future of media will require partnerships between non-profit and for-profit outlets to produce these costly and yet absolutely critical stories and to provide communications support after publication.

The Food & Environment Reporting Network is based in New York City. It was founded in September 2010 by an initial team that included Samuel Fromartz, Tom Laskawy, Naomi Starkman, and Paula Crossfield. It began operations in January 2011.

We are funded by the generous support of the The 11th Hour Project, Clarence Heller Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable FoundationMcKnight Foundation, the TomKat Charitable Trust, the Woodcock Foundation, Gaia Fund, Joyce and Irving Goldman Foundation, Loews Foundation, Nell Newman Foundation, The Sand Dollar Fund and a number of individual donors.

If you would like to donate, please be in touch with us at

See our Staff and Board members bios.

Or read our Editorial Board members’ bios.

We also maintain a Code of Ethics for our reporters and staff.

Our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use are also available for review.