Whitestone excels at awards

North Otago's cheese-making powerhouse, Whitestone Cheese, has again collected a bevy of awards at the Cuisine NZ Champions of Cheese Awards.

The company, which started in a converted garage in 1987, won five gold, six silver and 16 bronze medals at the gala dinner and awards ceremony in Auckland on Tuesday night.

Whitestone Vintage Blue also won the Ecolab Champion Blue Cheese section for the second year running and the Whitestone range won the Caspak Champion Cheese Packaging Award for the third consecutive year.

To top the night off, the New Zealand Specialist Cheese Association presented Whitestone founder Bob Berry with a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contribution to the New Zealand specialty cheese industry.

Whitestone Cheese general manager Simon Berry was "delighted with the success".

His father Bob's lifetime achievement award - the first presented at the awards which his father helped start in the early 1990s - came as a "complete surprise and added to the celebration", Mr Berry said.

Effort would now be put into growing the brand domestically and consolidating positions in markets in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, the United States, Bali and in the Pacific Islands.

New Zealand's Dutch cheese-makers won the two main awards. Meyer Vintage Gouda, produced by Meyer Gouda Cheese, won the Champion of Champions Award for large cheese-makers, and Very Old Edam from Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese took the Champion Artisan Award for smaller producers.


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