Kiwi food and drink producers are invited to submit their entries for the 2019 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards, which will be judged in March.
The awards – which celebrate Kiwis who harvest, grow and make food and drinks – were first held in 2017. Over two years of the awards a team of specialist judges have assessed almost 350 products, awarding 130 products with an Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award which allows the products to wear medal stickers as an independent endorsement of quality.
Co-organiser Kathie Bartley of Marvellous Marketing said the 2019 awards included two new categories. “Last year we noticed a significant increase in health-based products. We want to give ‘Free-From’ produce the opportunity to be assessed on its own merits and therefore have introduced a ‘Free-From’ category.” Producers creating products which are free from gluten and/or additives and/or preservatives and/or sugar, are invited to enter this category.
“As well as celebrating the dedication and ingenuity of New Zealand producers we have always wanted the awards to encourage and support them. Therefore, we’re pleased to be adding a special award for ‘Outstanding Start-up Producer’.” This award will recognise a producer who has started their business within the past year and aims to support them by introducing them to Outstanding NZ Food Producer alumni and providing support to help them build a strong base to grow their fledgling business.
2018 Supreme Champion Helen Dorresteyn of Clevedon Buffalo Co encourages producers to enter the awards. She said “Winning the supreme title at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards was a proud moment for Richard and myself, we were deeply honoured and feel part of something that is truly good for this country. It’s an award that celebrates the value of local produce and encourages excellence and quality in fresh food.”
“We have enjoyed the publicity it has generated for our buffalo farm and dairy, the networking opportunities allowing us to build new friendships and cement existing ones. The Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards have given us the confidence to continue to innovate with our cheese making, generated a huge amount of media coverage and made our staff, family and us immensely proud of what we do.”
The 2019 Awards judging panel will once again be led by tireless supporter of New Zealand food, cookbook author and food writer, Lauraine Jacobs. She will be joined by a host of experts who will judge in specialist panels across the major categories; paddock, dairy, water, earth as well as drinks, sustainability and free from. Products are scored out of 100 marks and judges assess product quality, flavour, aroma, texture, consistency, packaging, innovation and sustainability with outstanding produce awarded gold and silver medals. All gold medallists are considered as a champion for their category. The outstanding product as assessed by the judges will be named Supreme Champion at a cocktail party in Auckland on Tuesday 16 April 2019.
The awards are: Outstanding NZ Food Producer Supreme Champion, Emerson’s Dairy Champion, Water Champion, Farro Earth Champion, Ara Wines Paddock Champion. Special awards are: NZ Life & Leisure Spirt of New Zealand Award, T & G Global Outstanding Sustainability, FMCG Business Outstanding New Product, Label & Litho Outstanding Packaging, Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink, Outstanding Free-From Product and Outstanding Startup Producer.
New Zealand producers harvesting, growing and making food which is available for retail sale are encouraged to enter the awards online at outstandingfoodproducer.nz by Friday 1 March 2018. Feedback is available for all entries and Marvellous Marketing will host a number of Winner Events around New Zealand between April and September 2019 that will showcase gold and silver medallists.
From early 2019 we will also encourage foodies to vote for their favourite Outstanding Product and Outstanding Farmers’ Market in the annual Coast People’s Choice Awards.
Kathie Bartley made special mention of the loyal sponsors who made the Awards possible. Thanks to; NZ Life & Leisure, Ara Wines, Emerson’s, Farro, T & G Global, FMCG Business, Label & Litho, Fresh, Coast and Marvellous Marketing.