The International Cheese Awards have attracted 5,685 entries in different categories, ranging from traditional farmhouse to specialty Scandinavian cheese variants.
Fonterra plant manager, Hautapu Cheese, Ross Burdett, and Fonterra process project manager and cheesemaker Iain O’Donnell from Fonterra’s Lichfield site, said their teams felt honoured to have their work recognised internationally.
“Our team is really proud to receive the silver for ‘Best in New Zealand’ Cheese award. The Nantwich cheese awards are one of the most highly recognised awards in the global cheese industry so it’s really something special for the team. The award is also acknowledgement of the hard work and care they take to make consistently great cheeses across our product range,” Burdett said.
Cheeses from the smallest boutiques to the largest cheese brands in the world vied for top honours at the awards, which is now in their 120th year of competition.
“Our team is delighted to be runner up for the Vintage Cheddar Cheese award. This is a cheese we are really proud of, and enjoy making, so it is great to be recognised globally for it. Credit also belongs to our Fonterra farmers, whose top-quality, grass-fed milk allows us to make top-quality cheese,” said O’Donnell said.
NZMP Vintage Cheddar has claimed Second Place in the Vintage Cheddar Cheese Class (over 18 months), open to non-UK creameries. The cheese, which features in Mainland Vintage Cheese, is manufactured at Fonterra’s Lichfield site in the Waikato and is matured for up to 24 months before it is released in the market.
NZMP Noble Cheddar, which also features in Mainland Noble Cheese, has won Silver for Best in New Zealand Cheese Class. Crafted at Fonterra’s Hautapu site in the heart of the Waikato, it is a reduced-fat cheddar cheese range.
“It is important for our cheeses to measure up against their European counterparts and receive independent affirmation that we produce some of the world’s best cheddar cheeses,” said Fonterra dairy foods category director Casey Thomas.
Established in 1897, the International Cheese Awards at Nantwich is the biggest cheese show in the world, attracting entries from 50 different countries, including USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. As well as having the chance to sample and purchase the cheeses on display, visitors at the show were able to enjoy cheese-making demonstrations, celebrity cooking shows and other attractions.