March 13, 2018

Fonterra NZMP Cheese and Butter win international honours at 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest

New Zealand cheese continues to turn heads on the international stage, with Fonterra named category runner-up for its NZMP three-to-six month Cheddar Cheese in the 2018 World Championship Cheese Contest. NZMP Unsalted Butter was also runner up in its category in the prestigious competition held in the United States over the last week.

The bi-annual competition features the cream of the cheese and butter world, with products from 26 countries vying for top honours. This year’s competition attracted a record-breaking 3,402 entries in over 120 categories. 

The Fonterra NZMP Cheddar Cheese is crafted at Fonterra’s Stirling site in Otago. Fonterra Site Manager Stirling Dwayne Smith says his team was delighted with the judges’ evaluation of the cheese, scoring it an impressive 99.15 out of 100.

“We are really proud to receive this award, which is testament to the expertise of our cheesemakers.  Making NZMP cheese is a collaborative affair, with Fonterra cheesemakers working together to carefully guide a cheese through its development to maturity. We carefully select the best ingredients to make the very best natural cheese and we take great care to make sure that every block is perfectly made for its intended use before we bring it to the market.” 

Fonterra Plant Manager Matt Walton, who leads the production team for the NZMP Unsalted Butter at Fonterra’s Te Rapa site, also says the award reflects the quality of the ingredients.

“Our butter is all natural, with no flavourings, no additives and no salt – the only ingredient is fresh cream. It’s just good, old-fashioned butter that’s great tasting and great quality. Credit belongs to our Fonterra farmers because top-quality milk from grass-fed cows makes top-quality butter.”

Fonterra Dairy Foods Category Director Casey Thomas said “We are delighted to have won two awards in this world-class event, competing against top cheeses and butters from many countries.  It’s a great way to independently confirm that we produce some of the best dairy in the world.”

The World Championship Cheese Contest, initiated in 1957, is the largest technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition in the world. A team of 56 internationally renowned judges technically evaluated all entries over the three-day competition and commended the winners for their innovation and commitment to their craft.

NZMP natural cheese and cream ingredients are exported to food manufacturers in more than 130 countries, where they are used in a variety of products and applications such as meals, bakery, sauces and snacks.