In what has been hailed as ‘the most exciting year of the Awards to date’, 218 medal winners have been recognised at this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.
Winners span the length of Aotearoa from Northland to Southland and its breadth, from the West Coast over to the Chatham Islands. They represent a vast range of locally harvested, grown and made foods including mushrooms, meat, preserves, drinks, ice cream and sweets. The results follow two days of judging at Homeland in Auckland earlier in May.
There were more than 300 entries this year and 71% received an accolade, with 78 Gold Medals, 86 Silver Medals and 56 Bronze Medals awarded.
Gold Medal winners include Nut Brothers Peanut Butter – Probiotic & Cranberry, Olliff Farm’s Premium Pasture Eggs, Jersey Girl Organics A2 Jersey Milk, Bostock Brothers Organic Free Range Chicken and Fix & Fogg’s Choc Berry Everything Butter, to name just a few. The full list of medal winners is available on www.outstandingfoodproducer.co.nz.
Reflecting on this year’s medal-winners, Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said: “2022 has been the most exciting year for the Awards to date. Each year has seen not only growth in the number of entries, but the quality of the food products continues to rise and rise in every category.”
Of course this makes the judges’ task harder! But fortuitously it becomes a source of endless discovery and delight. As the expert judging team this year tasted their way through the submitted products, there were many squeals of surprise at the incredible flavours and the wide range of noted innovative and traditional entries.
“The awards judging process sets a high bar and there were many products, especially when fresh and straight from the farm or ocean, where the judges felt the growers and farmers had actually reached perfection. Thus, we have a large number of Gold Medal winners, along with many more that were awarded Silver or Bronze for their high scores,” said Jacobs. “Consumers who seek the very best can be absolutely reassured that any product displaying any of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards medals are guaranteed to be high quality and more importantly, delicious.”
From its first year in 2017, one element which has set the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards apart is that each entry is assessed for sustainability, with these marks contributing to the final score along with points from tasting and the brand story.
Sustainability judge Fiona Stephenson noted, “Overall I’m impressed with the progression of sustainability over the three years I’ve been judging. It’s rare now to see an entry where sustainability is not taken seriously, it seems there is genuine commitment to sustainability across almost all the products entered – it’s fantastic to see.”
Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards organisers Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell encouraged Kiwi food lovers to seek out winning produce, which they’ll recognise by distinctive Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. “These medals are consumers’ guarantee that product is harvested, grown or made in Aotearoa and it’s been assessed by experts who recognise it as one of the best,” Bartley said.
Gold Medal winners are now in consideration for the Champions and Special Awards winners, which will be announced at the Champions Party on Tuesday 21 June in Auckland.