Spiced goat pie, goat bacon, paua pie, finger limes, black garlic, health tonics and ice cream are among more 300 locally grown and made products being judged in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2022 at Homeland in early May.

Produce from Northland to Southland and the West Coast over to the Chatham Islands will be assessed in the sixth year of the annual Awards which celebrate outstanding food and drink harvested, grown and made in Aotearoa.

Judged by an expert panel of food, drink and sustainability professionals, for the first time the assessment will be held over two days – at Homeland, The Food Embassy for Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands, on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10, May 2022.

Judges from throughout New Zealand will be led by food writer and champion of NZ food producers, Lauraine Jacobs. Lauraine noted that as Kiwis go out of their way to seek out and enjoy locally made food and drink, producers are continuing to step up and innovate, providing new and interesting foods which reflect New Zealand’s unique terroir. “I’m looking forward to tasting some new and innovative products as well as revisiting some classic locally made goods.”

Lauraine leads a team of experienced palates which is; Sam Borgfeldt (drinks consultant) Tracey Berno (Associate Professor in Culinary Arts at AUT University); Gemma Bowman (Farro, chilled category manager); Connie Clarkson (restaurateur, food writer and head of business at Homeland); Shaun Clouston (executive chef and partner of  Logan Brown); Lucy Corry (food writer and award-winning cook book author); Kimberley Dixon (Editor of Hospitality Business); Ginny Grant; (food writer and food judge) Lynda Hallinan (journalist and broadcaster); Des Harris (restaurant consultant); Helen Jackson (food writer and food judge); John Kelleher (AUT programme leader, Diploma in Culinary Arts and Diploma in Patisserie); Emily King (director of Spira, sustainability judge); Anna King Shahab (food writer and food judge); Mat Mclean (executive chef and owner of Palate); Jackie Matthews (food judge); Kathy Paterson (cook book author and food writer); Jonathon Robertson (Farro, grocery category manager); Fiona Smith (food writer and food judge); Fiona Stephenson (Sustainable Business Network, sustainability judge); Kerry Tyack (experienced judge) and Maggie Wickes (Food Editor for NZME’s Be Well and eatwell.co.nz).

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards organisers Kathie Bartley and Nicola McConnell believe producers enter the Awards to set themselves apart from their competitors as they seek to take advantage of increased consumer demand for locally made food and drink products.

The top-rated products are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to add to packaging to give consumers confidence that they are buying a quality New Zealand made food. Gold Medal winners are assessed for the Champion and Special Awards. Over the past five years the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards have assessed nearly 1500 products.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners will be announced on Tuesday 31 May 2022 with category and special award winners announced at the Champions Party 2021 on Tuesday 21 June at Mantell’s Tamaki Drive in Auckland. 

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