The NZ Food Awards have been a highlight of the food industry’s calendar since 1987, recognising innovation in New Zealand’s largest export sector. Massey University’s stewardship of the awards since 1998 has seen them grow from strength to strength, recognising wider aspects of the business, including food safety, research and development, creativity and business success.
It’s an industry that thrives on adaptation and rising to new challenges, and this year the awards categories have been adapted to better reflect opportunities for New Zealand’s small, medium and large manufacturers, including food service, primary producers and ingredient supply companies.
Entries are open for the 2014 NZ Food Awards with two dedicated awards categories- one for small and one for large producers- along with a special category to include innovations by primary producers and ingredient supply companies.
Small manufacturers can enter products in the Gourmet, Convenience, and Indulgent categories. Large manufacturers (employing more than 20 staff) can enter products in the Dry, Deli, Beverages, Frozen, and Chilled/Short shelf life categories. Special Awards include Healthy, Food Safety- with a focus on foods for export, New Cultivars/Primary Producers, and Business Innovation & Export. Entrants in these categories will be eligible for the Supreme Award.
It’s a change that Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says will give a wider section of the industry the chance to showcase their businesses:
“New Zealand exports an increasingly wide range of value-added processed foods to markets worldwide, and the size of companies contributing to this market ranges from petite niche operators to multi-national organisations. Everyone has to eat- and New Zealand’s reputation as a high-value food producer should be recognised. The New Zealand Food Awards are the perfect opportunity for food industry businesses to take stock of what they’ve done, and celebrate their successes.”
It is also an opportunity to generate regional pride, highlighting the best of New Zealand’s diverse growing regions.
This year a two-step entry process will also help companies work through the best categories for their products to be entered into.
Reminding friends in the industry to enter is also something Mr Maharey recommends: “In the 50 years since Massey established its Food Technology programme, we’ve seen this industry grow from strength to strength, but sometimes it is hard to recognise your own success. Be a good friend and gently shoulder-tap those people in businesses you know deserve recognition.”
A full list of categories and criteria are available on the NZ Food Awards website: http://www.foodawards.co.nz