Kiwi food and drink producers have until Friday 28th February to enter the 2020 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards, which are being judged in Auckland on Saturday 7 March.

Celebrating local producers who harvest, grow and make food and drink, the awards assess kiwi food and drink and then promote the outstanding products to consumers across the country. Products are assessed for taste, flavour and ‘wow factor’ by an independent panel of judges comprised of chefs and food writers and two specialist sustainability judges (15% of marks, based on an evaluation of each producers’ journey to creating a sustainable business which positively contributes to the environment, its staff and its community).

Outstanding products are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. Gold Medal winners are also assessed for the Champion and Special Awards: Emerson’s Dairy Champion, Seafood New Zealand Water Champion, Farro Earth Champion, Giesen Wines Paddock Champion and Label & Litho Drink Champion. One Outstanding NZ Food Producer is named Supreme Champion.

Special awards are: NZ Life & Leisure Spirit of New Zealand Award, Outstanding Sustainability, FMCG Business Outstanding New Product, Outstanding Free-From Product and FRESH Outstanding Startup Producer.


New Zealand producers harvesting, growing and making food which is available for retail sale must enter the awards online at by this Friday 28 February 2020.

Winning products are entitled to wear special Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards medal stickers, which are a guarantee for consumers that they’re purchasing outstanding kiwi-made products. Following the announcement of the winners at the Champions Party in Auckland on Tuesday 21 April, a series of Winner Dinners and special events are held around the country to introduce produce to chefs and food lovers across New Zealand.

The 2020 Awards judging panel will again be led by advocate for artisan food producers, Lauraine Jacobs. She will be supported by Lucy Corry, NZ Life & Leisure Taste editor and contributor to NZ Herald Be Well magazine. They will be joined by a host of food and drink experts who will judge in specialist panels across the major categories; paddock, dairy, water, earth and drink. For the first time sustainability judging will be led by Fiona Stephenson, National Communications Manager for the Sustainable Business Network.

Lauraine Jacobs says “entry in these awards is essential for any producer who wants independent feedback on how their product is perceived and those who want to join a network of producers. Over the past three years of the Awards the winners have created an encouraging alumnus mentoring and supporting each other, as well as on occasion collaborating on developing new products.”

“What’s more, success in these awards opens the door to promotion and publicity which is often unattainable for small producers working alone. Understandably small producers focus on making the best product possible and often that means they don’t have time for marketing, this is one of the benefits of the Awards they are encouraged and supported by a year-long promotion.”

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Director Kathie Bartley thanked new partner Seafood New Zealand and made special mention of the loyal sponsors who make the Awards possible; NZ Life & Leisure, Giesen Wines, Emerson’s, Farro, Seafood New Zealand, FMCG Business, Label & Litho,, Coast and Marvellous Marketing.


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