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Blue-Ribbons for Blue Veins

Media Release 6 March 2007

Blue-Ribbons for Blue Veins

Fonterra Brands (New Zealand) Ltd has been awarded the top honour and a slew of major awards at the 2008 Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.

Firstly, Ferndale Maestro Blue beat more than 400 of the finest NZ specialty cheeses to be crowned the Taylor’s Port Champion of Champions, living up to its name as the master. To be considered for this honour Ferndale Maestro Blue also won its category as Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award. Maestro Blue’s cheesemaker Keven Saywell, based at Fonterra’s Eltham factory, was honoured as Hospitality Magazine Champion Cheesemaker.

Judges praised Ferndale Maestro as an excellent example of a European style of cheese that had transitioned into a true Kiwi blue. Aged for six weeks, it has a rustic feel but a creamy palate. Awards Master Judge, Australian Neil Willman, said when he tasted Maestro Blue he thought “this is just so close to perfection”.

Another iconic Kiwi blue and New Zealand’s most-awarded cheese, Kapiti Kikorangi, again excelled to pick up both the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Champion Export Cheese Award and the New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award, as decided by New World sales information.

“To win both the people’s choice and the export category is exciting for an already iconic Kapiti cheese as it covers both existing and emerging markets. We are proud that the public support for Kapiti Kikorangi remains strong,” say Gina Klarwill, Kapiti Senior Brand Manager.

“20 years ago in New Zealand blue cheese was seen as something a bit on the dark side,” said Awards MC Vic Williams, “Tonight it’s both the consumer’s favourite cheese and our top export cheese.”

Mainland Special Reserve’s Blue Vein won gold in the blue cheese category while Kapiti Kahurangi won gold in the Champion New Cheese category to round off a stellar night for Fonterra Brands’ blue cheese stable.

Not to be overshadowed by the blues, Kapiti Ramara won the New World Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award and Kapiti NZ Parmesan won the Foodtown Woolworths Champion European Style Cheese Award. Kapiti Ramara is a small red washed rind cheese speckled with white mould and is very much a cheesemakers’ cheese favourite.

Kapiti and Ferndale’s success at the 2008 Cuisine Champions of Cheese Awards shows that Fonterra Brands can create cheeses on a large and small scale. From the Kapiti Ramara, made in 60kg batches, to the sale of 1.5 million 1kg blocks of Mainland cheese every year, Fonterra Brands proves that irrespective of their size, they can retain the artisan quality of the Kapiti and Ferndale brands.


Fonterra Brands (NZ) Category Winners:

Taylor’s Port Champion of Champions Award
Ferndale Maestro Blue - Fonterra Brands NZ

New World Champion Washed Rind Cheese Award
Kapiti Ramara – Fonterra Brands NZ

Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese Award
Ferndale Maestro Blue – Fonterra Brands NZ

Foodtown Woolworths Champion European Style Cheese Award
Kapiti NZ Parmesan – Fonterra Brands NZ

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Champion Export Cheese Award
Kapiti Kikorangi – Fonterra Brands NZ

New World Champion Favourite Cheese Award
Kapiti Kikorangi – Fonterra Brands NZ

Hospitality Magazine Champion Cheesemaker
Keven Saywell, cheesemaker at Fonterra Eltham

© Scoop Media

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