NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced today that oyster growers from Long Island have now joined the New York State Grown & Certified program. To celebrate this, the Department is partnering with restaurants from New York City for an oyster tasting promotion, which will spotlight the growing industry and promote the Grown & Certified program’s food safety and environmental standards.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “We are excited to roll out another agricultural commodity as part of the New York State Grown & Certified program. We welcome these growers to the program and are pleased to promote farmed Long Island shellfish, products that are grown and harvested with care towards both food safety and the environment.”
Now through the end of January, Oceana and Docks Oyster Bar in Manhattan and Petite Crevette and Jolie Cantina in Brooklyn will proudly feature oysters farmed and grown by New York State Grown & Certified Long Island producers. The restaurants are identifying these oysters with the NYS Grown & Certified seal on their menu and displaying a window cling on their doors announcing their participation in the tastings and the certification program.
“Building on the Governor’s recent announcements and commitments to restoring shellfishing to Long Island, the New York State Grown & Certified program will create jobs for local baymen and in turn protect the environment,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Nurturing these natural resources helps preserve the quality and cleanliness of our waters and provides a sustainable, historically relevant coastal industry.”
Stewart Rosen, Docks Oyster Bar Owner, said, “Docks Oyster Bar is proud to support the New York State Grown & Certified program and the addition of Long Island shellfish with this exciting promotion. Local and sustainable sourcing has been part of the fabric of Docks for more than thirty years. We have direct relationships with some of Long Island’s premier oyster growers including Fishers Island, Blue Island and Peeko to name a few. Docks’ guests love the pristine freshness and delicious salinity unique to Long Island oysters.”
Bill Telepan, Oceana Restaurant Executive Chef, said, “I feel strongly about the New York State Grown & Certified program because we should all be supporting local purveyors. At the restaurant, we receive oysters daily, and since the Long Island oysters are local, they come to us at their freshest. I also believe that New York State oysters—with their clean, briny flavor—are some of the best eating oysters around!”
New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For oysters, participants must be New York State producers and maintain an environmental permit issued from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The oyster permitting process ensures producers growing, harvesting, handling and storing oysters are appropriately trained, and that they have developed and implemented the appropriate food safety plans and controls.
In addition, the producers must be growing the oysters on land leased by the state, county or a municipality for the purposes of shellfish production. Oyster growing, in general, contributes to water quality, and lands devoted to their production provide many public benefits.
Oyster producers who have joined the New York State Grown & Certified program so far are:
- Aeros Cultured Oyster Co. – Southold
- Blue Island Shellfish Farms – West Sayville
- Eastern Bays Co. – Aquebogue
- Fishers Island Oyster Company – Fishers Island
- Founders Oyster Farm – Southold
- Great Gun Shellfish – East Moriches
- Hampton Oyster Company – Laurel
- Ketcham’s Seafarm – Patchogue
- Little A’s Oysters LLC – Ronkonkoma
- Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market – Greenport
- Oysterponds Shellfish Co. – Orient
- Southold Bay Oysters – Southold
- Thatch Island Oyster Farms – Amityville
- Widow’s Hole Oyster Company – Greenport
Robert Carpenter, Administrative Director of Long Island Farm Bureau, said, “Long Island’s oyster industry continues its trend of increased production of oysters as more and more individuals lease lands around Long Island through state and county leasing programs. The NYS Grown & Certified program will provide an excellent resource for growers to market their product and expand their industry by promoting fresh locally grown oysters to consumers and restaurants. We are excited for this great opportunity.”
Charles Westfall, President of the Long Island Oyster Growers Association, said, “Oyster farming in New York is in the midst of a renaissance that is revitalizing our local seafood industry. With the help of programs like NYS Grown & Certified, New York will soon take its historic place as the country’s best and most abundant oyster.”
Governor Cuomo launched New York State Grown & Certified in 2016 to help meet the growing consumer demand for local foods grown or produced to a higher standard. The program certifies New York State producers who adhere to high food safety and environmental stewardship standards. It is supported by a marketing campaign including on-product labels, promotional materials, such as the New York State Grown & Certified website, and sales materials, to educate retail and wholesale buyers on the value of the program.
In addition to oyster producers, there are currently 77 fruit and vegetable growers and 12 Christmas tree growers, operating nearly 50,000 acres of farmland in the state, participating in the program. There are also nine dairy processors participating, representing nearly 1,400 dairy farms across New York State. For more information on New York State Grown & Certified, visit certified.ny.gov, or follow the program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
–NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
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