A Family Tradition
Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. is committed to the same passion for pistachios that started nearly 50 years ago. Located in the heart of the San Joaquin valley in California’s Central Valley, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. is one of America’s largest pistachio growers and processors. As a vertically integrated pistachio company, Setton is focused on every step of the process, ensuring the top quality and value of our family’s pistachios.
It All Began With…
It all started in 1959 with a bakery and a dream. The Setton brothers, Joshua and Morris, hoped that they could win over the taste buds of Brooklyn’s residents with delicious sponge cake and jelly donuts.
Years later, that dream became a passion for sharing gourmet food and specialty items that people wanted but couldn’t find in their local grocery store. In 1967, they opened their first gourmet food store on Kings Highway in Brooklyn and later grew to nine stores. During that time, the Setton brothers began selling packaged nuts and dried fruit to major retailers in the New York metropolitan area. In 1981, they expanded their operation by entering the wholesale business, selling nuts, dried fruits, seeds, trail mixes, and other specialty items.
It wasn’t until 1986, just as American pistachios were entering the marketplace, that their passion turned westward to pistachios. The American pistachio industry was relatively young, with the first commercial crops harvested in California in the late 70s. Here lay an opportunity to enter America’s agricultural heartland and contribute to what the Setton brothers believed was a crop with great potential.
We feel blessed to be farmers growing nutrient rich pistachios in California’s Central Valley. Producing the best-tasting, most wholesome pistachio nuts starts with the growing process. From the moment the seedling is planted to when the pistachios are picked from the tree, our orchards follow strict cultivation standards. Setton maintains one of the most sophisticated food safety programs in the entire nut industry with self-imposed quality and technical standards which exceed government and industry guidelines.
During the 6 to 8 week long pistachio harvest season in September and October, we can process over 3,000 truckloads of pistachios directly from our orchards and others’. Within 24 hours of arriving at Setton, 100% of the pistachios are hulled, cleaned, dried, and placed into large storage silos. The pistachios are protected from insects, moisture, and damage once inside the silos and can be stored safely for a year or more.
We maximize unique opportunities during harvest to practice sustainable and responsible business practices. We recycle virtually all agricultural waste water back into recharge zones or as agrarian irrigation water for our pistachio trees within our orchards, saving approximately 100 million gallons of water annually.
We also recycle more than 200 million pounds of protein and nutrient-rich agricultural hull bio-matter annually as cattle feed. This effort avoids generating large amounts of waste and provides feed for as many as 500 heads of cattle for three months, reducing vast amounts of CO2 emissions.
Our main processing and production facility is located in Terra Bella, California, on a 80-acre site. The plant operates year-round, 24 hours a day, to ensure we offer our customers the freshest, highest quality products. In addition to the main Terra Bella facility, we operate a satellite facility just 7 miles away on a 20 acre site. Between the two facilities, we can process, store, package and ship more than 125 million pounds of pistachios annually, with room for further expansion.
We employ over 300,000 square feet of packaging and production space and offer a full range of pistachio manufacturing and processing capabilities. We utilize pistachio sizing machinery, pin-pickers to separate naturally opened pistachios from closed ones, dry roasters, sorting machinery, fully automated packaging lines, flavoring production lines, salt brining systems, dozens of metal detection systems, and we have vacuum-packaging capability as well as R&D development services.
Representing the state-of-the-art in streamlined, automated, safe pistachio production, our plant allows us to offer a wide range of pack sizes to meet the needs of our diverse customer base including customized co-pack arrangements, flexible intermediate bulk containers, cartons, kraft bags, film packaging and other formats. Setton is able to deliver our wholesome and nutritious pistachios to customers globally through our national and international distribution networks.
We employ the best strategies and practices in the industry in operating our state-of-the-art processing facility in Terra Bella, California. Never satisfied, we encourage the creativity of our engineers to enhance existing processes and develop custom machinery that will keep us at the frontier of technology. Because the best ideas are always within reach, our employees remain our most powerful asset in the advancement of our technological development.
Our #1 priority is to treat our customers right. It extends to the final consumer who will enjoy the taste of our pistachios, and to our family of growers with whom we partner to bring those pistachios to market.
We believe that producing the highest quality products and building relationships with our customers will win the taste buds of consumers and keep them coming back.
This philosophy was born the day we began business and remains steadfast today. Our success means keeping our extended family of employees, growers and customers excited about producing the best tasting pistachios for the long term.