Response to Outstanding Food Producer Awards proves Kiwis are embracing artisan horticulture, agriculture and production


Organisers of the inaugural Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards believe the amazing support of the country’s food producers shows how strong and significant horticulture, agriculture and food production are.More than 150 from 82 growers, farmers and artisan producers have been submitted for judging tomorrow, Thursday 2 March 2017 at Fresh Factory in Auckland.Award co-organiser Nicola McConnell says they are delighted with the support of producers across the country. “Kiwi farmers, horticulturalists and artisan producers are hungry to create products which showcase the country’s terrior, our sense of place or as Maori know it, Tūrangawaewae.”“Every product has its own unique story. However, there are common themes including; innovation, long hours, fighting bureaucracy and a desire to operate sustainable and responsible businesses developing goods which taste good, make people feel good and are good for the environment.”Among the 155 products being assessed on Thursday the judges will taste ‘Sky Prawns’ from Otago (more commonly referred to as locusts), Lemongrass Ants, fresh tomatoes, cheese, pork, beef and lamb, salmon, keewai, non-alcoholic drinks and cordials, relishes, pickles, sauces and baked goods.The Awards operate in two ways. Growers, farmers and artisan producers submit their products for assessment by a panel of New Zealand’s finest food writers and chefs. Kiwi food lovers can vote online and via SMS for the country’s Outstanding Farmers’ Market, Specialty Food Store or Supermarket, Food Region or Product or Producer.Nicola McConnell thanked NZ Life & Leisure, and T&G Global for their support of the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards which will become an annual event to celebrate the hard work of the country’s food producers.Outstanding NZ Food Producer Award finalists will be announced on Monday 20 March and winners will be announced in Auckland on Thursday 27 April and in the May/June 2017 issue of NZ Life & Leisure.

NewsNicola McConnell