Kiwi food and drink producers are invited to enter the 2020 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards, which will be judged in March.
First held in 2017, the awards celebrate Kiwis who harvest, grow and make food and drink. Each year a team of specialist judges assess around 200 products, awarding stand out products with an Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award, which allows the products to wear a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal sticker as an independent endorsement of its quality. Gold Medal winning products will be assessed for five special awards and the five Champion Awards, with one of the Champions to be named Supreme Champion.
2019 Supreme Champion The Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery is encouraging producers to enter the awards. Co-owner Sharon Galeon said; “We can’t put a value on the increased brand awareness we have as a result of winning the Supreme Champion Award. The flow on effect is strong growth in our sales and improved national distribution. We are working on some exciting new products to enter in the 2020 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.”
The 2020 Awards judging panel will again be led by advocate for artisan food producers, Lauraine Jacobs, supported by Lucy Corry. They will be joined by a host of food and drink experts who will judge in specialist panels across the major categories; paddock, dairy, water, earth and drink. For the first time Sustainability judging will be led by Fiona Stephenson, National Communications Manager for the Sustainable Business Network.
In recognition of the importance of sustainability the marks allocated for sustainable business practice in 2020 are increasing to 15% for each entry. With the 75% of marks awarded based on product quality, flavour, aroma, texture, consistency and innovation with the final 10% allocated for brand story and product originality.
The most outstanding product as assessed by the judges will be named Supreme Champion at the Champions Party in Auckland on Tuesday 21 April 2020. After the Awards Marvellous Marketing will host Winner Dinners at leading restaurants around New Zealand between May and July 2020 to showcase the winning produce and introduce it to Kiwi food lovers.
The full list of awards is: Outstanding NZ Food Producer Supreme Champion, Emerson’s Dairy Champion, Seafood New Zealand Water Champion, Farro Earth Champion, Giesen Wines Paddock Champion and Label & Litho Drink Champion. Special awards are: NZ Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand Award, Outstanding Sustainability, FMCG Business Outstanding New Product, Outstanding Free-From Product and FRESH Outstanding Startup Producer.
Kathie Bartley made special mention of new sponsor Seafood New Zealand and thanks to the loyal sponsors who make the Awards possible; NZ Life & Leisure, Giesen Wines, Emerson’s, Farro, FMCG Business, Label & Litho, Fresh.co.nz, Coast and Marvellous Marketing.
From 1 February 2020 organisers will be encouraging foodies to vote for the Coast Outstanding Product and Coast Outstanding Farmers’ Market in the annual Coast People’s Choice Awards.
New Zealand producers harvesting, growing and making food which is available for retail sale must enter the awards online at www.outstandingfoodproducer.co.nz by Friday 28 February 2020.