Kiwi cheese lovers are being urged to support the local industry by trying a new NZ Cheese during Cheese Month in October.
Organised by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), October’s annual NZ Cheese Month shines a light on the country’s exceptional cheese industry. NZSCA Chair, Simon Lamb says cheese enthusiasts, foodies and the dairy industry are encouraged to celebrate the flavours, craftsmanship and sustainability of New Zealand cheese by trying a cheese they haven’t tasted before.
“Supporting NZ Cheese is more important than ever”, he says. “Over the past 12 months, two cheese companies – Grinning Gecko formerly from Whangārei and The Drunken Nanny which was in Wairarapa – have been forced to close their doors. In July, the government signed a trade deal with the EU that will force name changes for some common NZ cheese types and may result in cheaper imported cheese. It’s a challenging environment for NZ cheesemakers to operate in – with increasing costs, cheese imports and the high cost of compliance – and their success depends upon the support of Kiwi cheese lovers and consumers.”
However, Simon Lamb says cheesemakers are optimistic and want to focus on the positive. There are myriad reasons for consumers to choose NZ-made cheese:
- Exceptional Taste: New Zealand cheesemakers take pride in producing cheeses with exceptional flavours and textures.
- Fresh: Made in New Zealand, the cheese is always fresh when it reaches markets and shops.
- Support Local Business: When you choose New Zealand cheese, you’re supporting local farmers and business communities across the country.
- Diverse Selection: With a diverse range of cheese styles, New Zealand offers something for every cheese lover. You’ll discover new tastes to savour from traditional favourites to innovative creations.
- Meet the Maker: Buying cheese made in Aotearoa provides an opportunity for Cheeselovers to meet the cheesemaker. Many cheesemakers have their own stores or attend farmers markets and festivals across the motu.
Cheese lovers have plenty of ways to support the NZ Cheese Month:
- NZ Cheese Guide 2023/24: available free with recipes featuring NZ cheese and serving suggestions. Find it at stores that sell NZ cheese or view it here.
- NZ Cheese Festival: in Marlborough on Saturday 7 October gives cheese lovers a chance to meet cheesemakers from across the country, hear their stories and taste their cheeses. Learn more here.
- Visit a Top NZ Cheese Store: Mystery shoppers have been out across the country over the past month and NZSCA is pleased to announce 26 Top NZ Cheese stores – including 10 new entrants – which they recognise for taking extra care and attention to educate consumers about the joys of buying NZ Cheese.
- Make a Cheese for Amateur Cheesemaker Award: Amateur cheesemakers have a chance to showcase their skills and have their homemade cheese assessed by the NZ Champions of Cheese Master Judge, Jason Tarrant. Entries are judged on Thursday 19 October. Details here.
- Cook with NZ Cheese: A selection of new recipes have been created to make the most of fresh cheeses. Find recipes created to make the most of NZ cheese here.
- Try a New NZ Cheese from the NZ Cheeselovers Pop-Up Store: www.cheeseloversnz.co.nz includes special cheese offers from NZSCA cheesemaking members. New Zealand’s finest cheese is only a couple of clicks away from delivery to any home in Aotearoa.
- Vote for your Favourite NZ Cheese Company 2023: Visit www.cheeseloversnz.co.nz and vote for your favourite NZ Cheese Company. The NZ Cheese Company with the most votes at the end of NZ Cheese Month will be named Favourite NZ Cheese Company: and one lucky voter will win deliveries from The Cheese Wheel for six months.