New Awards Unearth New Zealand’s Outstanding Food & Drinks Producers


Kiwi producers are being encouraged to enter new awards developed to recognise New Zealand’s outstanding food and drinks producers.The Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards, in partnership with leading lifestyle title NZ Life & Leisure will acknowledge this country’s best producers. Whether people are growing apples, kiwifruit, cherries, potatoes or fresh herbs; making chutney or jams; raising sheep or cattle; making sausages smoking meat or practising charcuterie, fishing or farming seafood or making seafood pate – these awards will recognise their hard work and outstanding products.Created by two of the country’s food leading marketers, Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell, the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards have been more than a year in the making. The pair developed the Awards as existing offerings don’t catering for the changing food production landscape or the needs of consumers who are more socially conscious and want fresh, local produce that is sustainably produced.Co-creator Kathie Bartley forged her career marketing New Zealand food and wine. Her credits include: development of the original Corbans Wine and Food Challenge and the Cuisine Artisan Awards. She pioneered the Cuisine Restaurant of the Year and continues to work on Silver Fern Farms Premier Selection Awards. Nicola McConnell had a 15 year career marketing wine and food in Australia before returning home to live the Kiwi dream.The Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards will be judged by a panel of leading food experts lead by Lauraine Jacobs, well-known for championing New Zealand food locally and abroad. Lauraine is a Past President of the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).Lauraine Jacobs says; “I am delighted to be involved in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. I know we have many exceptional producers in New Zealand and this is a huge opportunity to recognise their work and their world-class products, whether they’re straight from the farm, or value-added by clever food producers. I am confident the rewards and recognition generated for Awards winners will raise their profiles and enhance business opportunities in New Zealand and overseas.”To be eligible to enter producers must sell their products available in New Zealand and they must meet New Zealand Food Safety regulations.Producers are encouraged to enter Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards because:

  • They will be judged in March each year when our country’s primary produce is at its best
  • Producers are judged on the quality of their wares regardless of their size (large and boutique food producers can all enter)
  • Sustainability of the product and its production are taken into consideration in judging
  • The product’s point of difference and brand story are part of the judging
  • Every product entered the business will receive a pass to attend a marketing workshop tailored for food producers in either Auckland or Christchurch in June 2017

NZ Life & Leisure Editorial Director Kate Coughlan says as a country with an international reputation for outstanding food, New Zealand's economy grows on the back of its producers. Since its launch 11 years ago, NZ Life & Leisure has been committed to helping the food industry evolve by shining a light on its finest operators."The passion and the prowess of our food producers never ceases to amaze me. We profile outstanding growers and producers in every issue of the magazine - and have done so for nearly 12 years - and the supply never dries up.”“The innovation in this industry is exciting. It's for these reasons that NZ Life & Leisure is proud to be a partner in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards. Sharing the stories of clever and hardworking producers inspires others. They are always very generous, sharing their knowledge and what they've learned along the way, and that helps everyone."Kate says that some producers are large companies with a broad market reach and others are more boutique. No matter their size, it is the skill they've brought to developing or creating a product that is of interest to the judges. The winner of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award will be profiled in the May-June issue of NZ Life & Leisure.”Kiwi foodies can take part in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards by voting via for their favourite, Farmers’ Market, New Zealand Food Region or Specialty Food Store via

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