By Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation, Mark Piper
Our co-op’s cheesemakers had plenty to celebrate at the annual NZ Champions of Cheese Awards earlier this month.
More than 310 cheeses from 35 cheese companies were judged and our Kāpiti Te Tihi Premium Aged Cheddar was handed the Supreme Award, being named Champion of Champions for large-scale cheesemakers. It also won both the Champion Export and Champion Retail Cheddar Trophies. It’s appropriate, given Te Tihi means summit or point of excellence.
But it isn’t just judges who’ve recognised Fonterra’s cheeses as champions –Kāpiti Kikorangi Triple Cream Blue took out New World’s Cheese Lover’s Choice Award. This is the only award that is a popularity vote, so it’s an absolute privilege to have New Zealanders choose Kikorangi as their favourite. Kāpiti also received an additional seven gold, six silver and two bronze medals across its range.
In the initial round of the awards, Fonterra products took out 25% of the awards – that’s 20 golds, 38 silvers and 10 bronze medals.
It’s great recognition of the craft and dedication from our people right across the co-operative, but special mention goes to the team at our Eltham Cheese Factory and Head Cheesemaker, Cathy Lang.
Read more about her passion for cheese here.
Mark Piper is Fonterra’s director for Category, Strategy & Innovation and has been with the Co-operative for more than 20 years in different parts of the business. He leads Fonterra’s Palmerston North-based Research and Development Centre (FRDC) – home to more than 350 researchers, engineers, nutritionists and scientists from 46 different countries, with more 4,500 years of combined dairy experience.