New Zealand's Outstanding Food Producers named

Photo: Sean and Jodi Brosnahan of Absolute NZ Meats

Farming, horticulture and aquaculture recognised alongside crafted products

Absolute NZ Meat is the Supreme Winner of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2017. Their winning product Absolute Angus Porterhouse was named alongside seven category winners representing horticulture, aquaculture, cheesemaking, butchery and creators of premium crafted products.

The winners were announced in Auckland last night (Thursday 27 April 2017) after a panel of 10 expert food judges tasted more than 150 products from 82 growers, farmers and crafted producers in early March 2017 at the Fresh Factory in Auckland.

Absolute Angus is the brand East Cape farmers Sean and Jodi Brosnahan developed for their pure NZ Angus stud that they sell online via

Head Judge Lauraine Jacobs said, “Absolute Angus Porterhouse was a standout, with the judges smitten by this delicious steak from the very first bite. Not only did it have terrific texture and intense meaty flavours, but the Brosnahan’s commitment to sustainable management of their East Cape farm and the online business they have created is worthy of this recognition. It is a joy to see the hard work of our farming sector being carried out in such an exemplary manner.”

Category winners are:

Jersey Girl Organics, Jersey Girl Organic Whole Milk - Outstanding Producer Dairy Primary

Whitestone Cheese Company, Vintage Windsor Blue - Outstanding Producer Dairy Crafted

Farm Eighty4, Heirloom Tomatoes - Outstanding Producer Earth Primary

Fix and Fogg, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter - Outstanding Producer Earth Crafted

Absolute NZ Meat, Absolute Angus - Outstanding Producer Paddock Primary

The Prodigal Daughter, Spicy Sicilian Sausages - Outstanding Producer Paddock Crafted

Cloudy Bay Clams, Wild Harvested New Zealand Diamond Shell Surf Clams- Label & Litho Outstanding Producer Water Primary

Keewai New Zealand, Live Freshwater Crayfish - Spirit of New Zealand

Quality of produce was exceptional and therefore the judges took the opportunity to recognise Runners-Up in two categories. Clevedon Valley Buffalo, Buffalo Mozzarella and Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery, Movie Night Ice Cream were recognised in Dairy. Paneton Bakery, Paneton Flaky Puff Pastry was an Earth Runner-Up.

As well as awarding products from judging, the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards encouraged foodies to vote for their favourites, and the following People’s Choice Awards were made:

Fix and Fogg peanut butter makers - L’affare Outstanding Producer

Otago Farmers Market - Outstanding Farmers’ Market

Farro Fresh Food - Outstanding Specialty Food Store or Supermarket

Hawke’s Bay - T & G Global Outstanding Food Region

Shoppers will recognise Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards winners when they buy, as they will carry a gold sticker - a promise of product quality and an acknowledgement that it is the best of the best that New Zealand offers. In March over 50 products from 42 producers were also endorsed for their quality and innovation and these products may carry a black finalist sticker.

Organiser Kathie Bartley says, “it was particularly pleasing to see the quality of New Zealand’s primary produce shine through. One of the drivers for these awards was to celebrate and promote the amazing local produce that kiwis have on their back door step.”

The judging panel was; respected food writer and champion of New Zealand cuisine, Head Judge, Lauraine Jacobs; Kathy Paterson, food writer; Enzo Bettio, founder of Delmaine Foods and owner of Vin Alto; Anna Tait-Jamieson, NZ Life & Leisure, food editor; Lucy Corry, NZ Life & Leisure contributor and food writer; Mat McLean, head chef/owner of Palate Restaurant, Hamilton and Beef & Lamb New Zealand Platinum Ambassador; Sam Mannering, chef/co-owner of The Homestead Company, Auckland; Nick Honeyman, head chef/owner of Paris Butter, Auckland; Trudi Nelson, food writer, broadcaster and co-owner of The Fresh Factory and Emily King (Sustainable Business Network food program).

Organisers, Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell of Marvellous Marketing, thanked NZ Life & Leisure,, T&G Global, L’affare and Label and Litho for supporting the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. The Awards will be an annual event to celebrate the hard work of the country’s food and drinks producers.

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