A Satur Farms location in Cutchogue.

A Satur Farms location in Cutchogue. Credit: Randee Daddona

Satur Farms, one of Long Island’s best-known produce brands, plans to close its processing and distribution facility in Calverton by the spring, a victim of rising costs.

Paulette Satur, co-founder and farmer, said the closure by April 30 will have little other impact on the company’s highly recognized leafy green business. The company is using an out-of-state facility to pack and distribute greens, which have been grown on around 200 acres of owned and leased land on Long Island, primarily the North Fork. The company owns an 18-acre farm in Cutchogue. Winter growing is done in "warmer climates by grower friends" out of state, Satur said. 

The closure will impact around 40 workers, according to a filing with the state Department of Labor. Satur said the company is working with employees to help place them at other farm facilities. Produce News in June reported Satur was "winding down" farm operations in 2023, after attempting unsuccessfully to sell the operation. 

Satur on Monday pointed to the difficulty in finding leased land to farm but said the Satur brand "will continue" and farm products "will be packed elsewhere." 

“We are having our salads packed at another facility because the rent here has escalated,” among other issues, Satur said, declining to specify the out-of-state location. “The brand will still be in stores,” including Whole Foods Market and FreshDirect.

Satur and others said there are “lots of barriers” to operating a farm on Long Island. “Farmland to lease has become just near impossible to get" in the larger tracts needed to farm Satur products, she said.

Rob Carpenter, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau, agreed.

“Definitely over the last number of years, the economics of farming on Long Island have gotten more difficult as we deal with minimum-wage increases, as well as competition from national and international farm operations that have a lower cost of doing business,” Carpenter said. 

The state filing stated Satur will be releasing the 40 employees between January and the end of April. The filing cited “unforeseeable business circumstances.”

Satur, which has been operating on Long Island from its Cutchogue base since 1996, opened the 40,000-square-foot Calverton facility in 2014, with funding from Empire State Development Corp. and a loan from the Whole Foods Market Local Producer Program, according to media reports.

Satur said the company operates two separate 20,000-square-foot facilities on the leased Calverton property for processing, packaging and distribution.

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