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Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2018

Clevedon Buffalo Co. Named Supreme Champion Of
Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2018

For Release Thursday 26 April 2018

Clevedon Buffalo Co has been named Supreme Championof the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2018, with a further eight food businesses receiving awards recognising the outstanding quality of their produce.

The food producers were assessed as the country’s finest after 186 food products from 100 producers were assessed by a panel of judges in March. The majority of judging marks were for aroma, taste, quality, with a further 20% for brand story, product and pack design and sustainability. Shortly after judging, 25 New Zealand food producers received Gold Medals and a further 57 received Silver. Champions were chosen from the highest scoring Gold Medal winners.

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2018 Champions are:
Supreme Champion; Clevedon Buffalo Co – Clevedon Marinated Buffalo Cheese (Auckland)
Fresh.co.nz Dairy Champion; Clevedon Buffalo Co – Clevedon Marinated Buffalo Cheese (Auckland)
Ara Wines Paddock Champion; Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats – Gourmet Whole Lamb Box (Wairarapa)
Farro Earth Champion; The Clareville Bakery – Miche Sourdough (Masterton)
Water (Sea/fresh water) Champion; Genevieve’s Mahurangi Oyster Mousse (Auckland)

Another five food producers were recognised with Special Awards:
NZ Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand: Turk’s Poultry - Turk's Corn-Fed Free Range Fresh Butterflied Chicken Sriracha Chilli & Lime (Foxton)
T & G Global Outstanding Sustainability Award - Jersey Girl Organics A2 Organic Milk (Waikato)
Label & Litho Outstanding Pack Design - The Lucky Taco Habanero Hot Sauce (Auckland)
FMCG Business Outstanding New Product - The Whole Mix Spiralised Vegetable Noodle Range (Marton)
Marvellous Marketing Outstanding Drink - Hill Road Fresh Orange Juice (Gisborne)

Head judge, New Zealand food writer and advocate for local produce, Lauraine Jacobs congratulated all the entrants, saying they were doing a fine job and the standard was incredibly high this year.

“It’s always a pleasure to taste and experience fine food that is grown and produced in New Zealand and this year’s judging of the awards was very exciting. We found it hard to separate the entries, especially at the top of each category, but our teams of judges did a sterling job. They tasted and evaluated every entry ‘blind’ which meant that they could truly concentrate on the products.”

Co-organiser Kathie Bartley said they were pleased to have uncovered so many new producers and new products. Innovation was a strong theme with many producers this year, she said.

“The Whole Mix Spiralised Vegetable Noodle Range, illustrated fresh thinking, giving cooks a quick and tasty way to serve vegetables. Flavour innovation was on show too; with Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery Ca Phe Da, a delicious ice cream take on Vietnamese coffee and even porridge with YUM Creamy Apple Chai Porridge. Convenience products also stood out, with products such as the Clevedon Vegetable and Herb Box and premium baking mixes. Also prominent this year were healthy food options with multiple gluten free products and Harraways Oat-activ®– Original Oats, made to reduce blood cholesterol.”

Supreme Champion and Fresh.co.nz Dairy Champion, Clevedon Buffalo Co – Clevedon Marinated Buffalo Cheese
Clevedon Buffalo Co. celebrates 10 years in business in this year. This win comes after Clevedon Buffalo was recently presented one of two supreme awards - Puhoi Valley Champion of Champions Cheese, Artisan - at the NZ Champion of Cheese Awards 2018. Established by Richard and Helen Dorresteyn, Clevedon BuffaloCo. is celebrating 10 years of cheese making after the Dorresteyn’s were first New Zealanders to commercially farm buffalo. Today they milk 150 Riverine water buffalo and make a delicious range of mozzarella, bocconcini, yoghurt, marinated cheese and ricotta, which are available at specialty food stores throughout New Zealand.

Also announced on Thursday evening were the People’s Choice winners, chosen by popular online vote by food lovers. They were:
Coast Outstanding Producer, Clevedon Herbs and Produce (Auckland)
Coast Outstanding Product, Lakes Farm Classic NZ Steak with Aged Gouda (Waikato)
New Zealand’s Outstanding Farmers’ Market, Clevedon Farmers’ Market (Auckland)

Shoppers will recogniseOutstanding NZ Food Producer Awardswinners as they will carry champion, gold or silver medal award stickers - a promise of product quality and an acknowledgement that it is the best of the best that New Zealand offers. Food lovers will also have the opportunity to taste some of the products with a series of Winner Dinners to held in July and August.

Profiles of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Champions are in the NZ Life & Leisure May/June (#79) issue on sale 30 April.

Led by Lauraine Jacobs, the judging panel was; Lucy Corry (food contributor for Stuff.co.nz and New Zealand Life & Leisure); Julie Moore (Director of Moore Wilson’s Fresh); Niki Bezzant (food writer, speaker, editor and commentator); Kathy Paterson (chef and food writer); Sam Mannering (chef and owner Pah Homestead); Trudi Nelson (founder of Fresh.co.nz); Allyson Gofton (food writer and Coast ambassador); Tamara Rubanowski (Head of Content FMCG Business); Mat McLean (chef and owner Palate Restaurant, Hamilton); Enzo Bettio (owner of Vin Alto and founder of Delmaine); Emily King (founder of Spira and sustainable food systems specialist); Suzanne Sparrow (Grocery and Homeware Category Manager, Farro); Aaron Pooch experienced dairy judge); Pip Duncan (vegetables.co.nz); Cameron Douglas MS (Master Sommelier, international wine judge and consultant) and Jane Boyle (senior wine judge).

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