Entries have opened for Kiwi cheesemakers to enter their creations in the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards 2021.

Celebrating the best in the New Zealand cheese industry, the awards are owned and organised by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), with the event being in its 19th year.

NZSCA chair Neil Willman says the awards play a key role in the association’s promotion of local cheese, as well as helping to improve quality by providing benchmarking and feedback to entrants.

In 2021, the biannual Aspiring Cheesemaker Award will be awarded to one cheesemaker as a recognition of their exceptional dedication to developing their career and learning the art of cheesemaking.

The NZ Champions of Cheese 2021 trophies include:

  • Countdown Champion of Champions (Commercial)
  • New World Champion of Champions (Mid-sized)
  • Puhoi Valley Champion of Champions (Boutique)
  • Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Champion Original Cheese
  • ECOLAB Champion Blue Cheese
  • New Zealand Food Safety Champion New Cheese
  • CHR Hansen Champion Soft White Rind Cheese
  • Kiwi Labels Champion Greek/Cypriot Cheese
  • Cheeselinks Champion Fresh Italian Style Cheese
  • Champion Fresh Unripened Cheese
  • AsureQuality Champion Dutch Style Cheese
  • Champion European Style Cheese
  • Sabato Champion Farmhouse Cheese
  • Thermaflo Champion Washed Rind
  • Big Chill Distribution Champion Flavoured Cheese
  • Tetra Pak Champion Retail Cheddar Cheese
  • Champion Bulk Cheddar Cheese
  • Good George Brewing Champion Goat Cheese
  • Dish magazine Champion Sheep Cheese
  • Renco New Zealand Champion Export Cheese
  • Curds & Whey Champion Homecrafted Cheesemaker and Cheese

Special awards include:

  • New World Cheese Lovers’ Choice
  • Ignite Colleges Chef’s Choice
  • Innovative Packaging Champion Butter
  • Champion Yoghurt