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Chatham Island seafood company wins top NZ food award

(Source: Chatham Island Food Co.)

Chatham Island Food, has won the Supreme Award at the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards in Auckland.

Three gold medals went to the seafood company – for its blue cod, pure paua mince, and paua pies. According to Seafood New Zealand, this is the first time in the awards’ six-year history a seafood company has won the top prize.

“We know how much work is going into protecting our marine resource while producing top-quality seafood, but it is wonderful to see that recognised,” said Jeremy Helson, Seafood New Zealand chief executive. 

“Producers like Chatham Island Food Co do us all proud, flying the flag for New Zealand seafood domestically and internationally.”

Chatham Island Food Co, founded by Delwyn and Gigi Tuanui, is a family-run business on the remote Chatham Islands, located about 800km to the east of New Zealand’s mainland. It has a population of about 600.

Delwyn Tuanui of Chatham Island Food (Chatham Island Food Facebook).

Delwyn is a seventh-generation Chatham Islander who has fished since he was a child. As a result, he understands both the demands and the difficulties in balancing fishing and sustainability.

“Fishing companies need fishermen, they need deckhands, they need office managers,” added Delwyn. 

Some of Chatham Island Foods’ products.

“It’s a huge team effort, and it’s a team effort from a group of people that live in the most isolated part of the world. We do have an incredible food story to tell. I just feel excited and proud to be a Chatham Islander.”

In addition, Akaroa Salmon, one of the first King Salmon producers in New Zealand, also received an award.

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