New Zealand’s top food producers have been recognised with a record of 223 medals granted in the fifth annual 2021 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards.

Many of the products will be adorned with Outstanding NZ Food Producer medal stickers which signifies they are locally made, quality products.

Ten panels of three judges tasted more than 300 entries with products from across the country. Judging was held at AUT School of Hospitality and Tourism on Saturday, April 17.

Head judge Lauraine Jacobs says it was a privilege to judge this year’s entries.

“The thought, effort and expertise that goes into producers’ work was evident as our panel tasted and examined so many delicious and exciting new and well-established products. Congratulations to all the worthy and deserving medal winners. They represent the very best of New Zealand food.”

Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards co-director, Kathie Bartley says she enjoyed seeing the diversity of the products.

“Our panel tasted and assessed paua and Blue Cod from the Chatham Islands, sauces and chutneys from Northland through to Central Otago, nut butters, fresh produce, specialty cheeses, Pohutukawa smoked meat, gourmet sausages, charcuterie, salmon, artisan chocolate, gluten-free and dairy-free products to name a few. She said the quality of this year’s entries was recognised with 69 gold medals, 91 silver medals, and 63 bronze medals.”

Hungry kiwis will have the chance to taste the winning produce at the Winner Dinners and cooking classes to be held across the country.