State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Grown & Certified program has expanded to include the State’s seafood producers, including wild caught fisheries and aquaculture. NYS Grown & Certified promotes New York’s farmers and food producers who adhere to higher food safety practices and environmental standards.
Commissioner Ball said, “The New York State Grown & Certified program is continuing to grow to include a number of commodities, including our latest addition of seafood producers. The program provides our farmers and our food businesses the opportunity to brand their products with a seal that assures consumers they’re buying local and that they are buying products that are grown or sourced responsibly.”
The addition of wild caught fisheries and aquaculture farms to NYS Grown & Certified expands the program’s promotion of local seafood. In January 2018, the Department announced the participation of several Long Island shellfish growers.
Dock to Dish, Inc. was the first wild caught seafood producer to join the program and Hudson Valley Fisheries was the first aquaculture farm. Today, there
are 22 seafood producers participating in the program:
- Aeros Cultured Oyster Co Inc – Southold, Suffolk County
- Baywater Group Inc. – Greenport, Suffolk County
- Blue Island Shellfish Farms Co Inc. - West Sayvillle, Suffolk County
- Cornell Oysters Inc. – Southold, Suffolk County
- Dock to Dish Inc. – Montauk, Suffolk County
- Eastern Bays Company – Jamesport, Suffolk County
- Fishers Island Oyster Farm – Fisher's Island, Suffolk County
- Founders Oyster Farm – Southold, Suffolk County
- Great Gun Shellfish – East Moriches, Suffolk County
- Hampton Oyster Company – Laurel, Suffolk County
- Harbor Lights Oyster Co. – Southold, Suffolk County
- Harvest Moon Shellfish Co. – Cutchogue, Suffolk County
- Hudson Valley Fisheries – Hudson, Columbia County
- Multi Aquaculture Systems Inc. – Amagansett, Suffolk County
- Noank Aquaculture Cooperative (NAC) – Southold, Suffolk County
- Oysterponds Shellfish Co. – Orient, Suffolk County
- Peconic Gold Oysters Inc. – Patchogue, Suffolk County
- Peeko Oysters – East Marion, Suffolk County
- Southold Bay Oysters – Southold, Suffolk County
- Thatch Island Oyster Farms – Amityville, Suffolk County
- The Sheltered Oyster Company – Kings Park, Suffolk County
- West Robins Oyster Company- Southampton, Suffolk County
- Widow's Hole Oyster Co. – Greenport, Suffolk County
Elise Gilchrist, Communications Director at Dock to Dish in Montauk, said, “This important certification for wild seafood is a major step forward for New York State’s fishing communities and enables consumers to identify truly local, traceable and sustainable products that are caught responsibly and in full compliance with the law. We have worked for many years with the Department of Agriculture to highlight the high quality and low carbon footprint of New York’s abundant wild seafood resources, to identify and prevent seafood fraud and mislabeling, and to strengthen the marketplace for New York’s commercial fishers and their families. We are honored to be the first wild seafood operation in the state to participate and be certified, and we are grateful to the Department for their work to bring wild seafood into the NYS Grown & Certified program. This initiative is yet another example of New York State leading the way and setting an example for the rest of the country.”
Hudson Valley Fisheries CEO John Ng said, “Now that aquaculture is included in the NYS Grown & Certified program, it opens the program up to producers from all over the state and those who can produce year-round in indoor, land-based systems. Further, this opens up the market for new producers and provides New Yorkers with access to safe, humanely harvested new fish products throughout the year.”
Long Island Farm Bureau Administrative Director Rob Carpenter said, “Long Island has been home to farming and fishing interests since Long Island was settled in the 1600’s. We have a rich tradition of seafood production from the waters around Long Island and are proud of the quality and abundance, and freshness of our locally caught seafood. The addition of products like finfish, shellfish and wild caught harvests to the NYS Grown & Certified program highlight what New York farms have to offer for our residents. I strongly encourage all New Yorkers to support our industry and enjoy all the quality products we grow and harvest!”
To be eligible for the program, fishing operations must ensure labeled seafood is landed in New York State and the product must be species native to East Coast waters. To meet the food safety requirements, participants must also adhere to time and temperature standards as outlined by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and possess the appropriate DEC permits. Processors of aquaculture food products must also have a Department of Agriculture and Markets 20-C license and be in compliance with the State’s food safety regulations as of the most recent food safety inspection.
To ensure environmental standards are being met, participants must be in compliance with DEC, town, and municipality permits, leases and licensing and be up to date on all reporting requirements.
About NYS Grown & Certified
Governor Cuomo launched NYS 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, and sales materials.
Currently, more than 2,450 producers are participating in New York State Grown & Certified, representing over 530,000 acres of farmland. For more information on NYS Grown & Certified, visit certified.ny.gov, or follow the program on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.