Fonterra strikes gold with top awards on International Cheese Day


Fonterra continues to add to its trophy cabinet with success at this year’s New Zealand Cheese Awards, which were announced just ahead of International Cheese Day today.

The Co-operative took home a total of 52 awards, including 21 for its premium Kāpiti range. 

For the fourth time in five years, Kāpiti Kikorangi Triple Cream Blue won gold in the Blue Cheese category, cementing its place as the most awarded cheese in New Zealand. 

Fonterra’s Mainland won gold for its new Special Reserve Chilli and Garlic Brie launched late last year, while NZMP won six gold and Anchor rounded out the golden tally with two medals.  

Marketing and Innovation Director for Fonterra Brands New Zealand Renée Milkop Kerr says, “These wins cement Fonterra’s position as the leading player in cheesemaking in New Zealand.” 

Kāpiti and Mainland’s specialty cheese range are produced at the Co-op’s Eltham site in Taranaki, which has been making cheese for more than 100 years from high quality milk produced by local dairy farmers. 

Fonterra’s Lichfield, Hautapu, Stirling and Whareroa sites also took away awards for their cheeses. 

Cathy Lang from the Eltham site has also been nominated for the 2024 Champion Cheesemaker award, which will be announced in May this year. She previously won this award in 2022.  

Cathy says, “Our team puts in a lot of work to create our beloved Kāpiti cheese range, it’s fantastic to see that be acknowledged by the judges.” 

More than 270 cheeses were assessed by the 30-person judging panel, led by Master Judge Jason Tarrant. The awards are in their 21st year and celebrate the country’s finest cheese. 

Full list of awards:


  • Kāpiti Kahurangi Creamy Blue 
  • Kāpiti Kikorangi Triple Cream Blue x2 
  • Kāpiti Kānuka Creamy Havarti x2 
  • Kāpiti Artisan Tomme 
  • Kāpiti Te Tihi Premium Aged Cheddar 
  • Kāpiti Pakari Aged Cheddar 
  • Kāpiti Pakari Blackcurrant Cheddar 
  • Kāpiti Ramara 
  • Mainland Special Reserve Chilli & Garlic Brie x2 
  • NZMP Epicure 
  • NZMP Tasty Cheddar 
  • NZMP Organic Cheddar 
  • NZMP Special Reserve Cheddar 
  • NZMP Vintage Cheddar 
  • Anchor EasyMix Cream Cheese 
  • Anchor Traditional Cream Cheese 1kg 
  • NZMP Traditional Cream Cheese 


  • Kāpiti Kānuka Smoked Havarti x2 
  • Kāpiti Awa Tangy Blue 
  • Kāpiti Kakato Gouda 
  • Kāpiti Kirīmi Chilli & Garlic 
  • Kāpiti Artisan Ash Rind White 
  • Mainland Tasty Cheddar 
  • NZMP Mild Cheddar 
  • NZMP Edam 
  • NZMP Brine Salt Gouda 
  • NZMP Parmesan 
  • NZMP Tasty Lite 
  • NZMP High Solids Cream Cheese 
  • Anchor Traditional Cream Cheese 5kg 


  • Kāpiti Artisan Bridge St Blue 
  • Kāpiti Kīrimi Herb & Garlic 
  • Mainland Special Reserve Smoked Cheddar 
  • Kāpiti Kahikatea Camembert  
  • Kāpiti Akatea Brie 
  • Kāpiti Kohatea Extra Creamy Brie 
  • Mainland Special Reserve Double Cream Camembert 
  • NZMP Colby 
  • NZMP Mozzarella 

About Kapiti 

Kāpiti is New Zealand’s most awarded cheese brand and was created in the Lower North Island more than 35 years ago. It has become a staple in the repertoire of our best chefs and commonplace on cheese boards throughout the country. 

All except one of the gold winning Kāpiti specialty cheeses are made at our site on Bridge Street in Eltham. This includes our award-winning Kāpiti Bridge Street Blue and Tomme, which are both from the new Kāpiti Artisan range cheeses – recently created by Master Cheesemaker Cathy Lang.  

About Mainland

Mainland has been producing cheese since 1955, and was built on the traditions of craftsmanship, integrity care and a huge amount of Kiwi pride. Our Mainland cheeses are a firm Kiwi favourite in fridges around New Zealand, with great versatility and a fantastic selection. 

Mainland also carries an extensive range of Special Reserve cheeses for those who enjoy bolder and more discerning tasting cheeses for cheeseboards and special occasions.