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Source: Massey University

Fair Food Charitable Trust – winners of the Palmerston North City Council Greater Good NZ Food Heroes Awards 2020. From left, Jason Crawford (Eventbase); Veronica Shale (Fair Food); Justine Knowles (Fair Food); Pat Tobin (Toby’s Seafoods) and Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith at the NZ Food Heroes 2020 gala event. Fair Food Charitable Trust were also the Massey University Supreme Winner 2020.

The New Zealand Food Awards gala dinner is on the move to Manawatū! For the first time, Palmerston North will host the awards announcement, with around 400 guests expected to attend the event at the Central Energy Trust Arena on 14 October. The 12 category winners and overall Massey University Supreme Award winner will be announced, with guests enjoying a three-course meal, drinks and entertainment.

Mayor Grant Smith says it’s fitting the city host the awards in 2021, as it commemorates 150 years.

“Palmerston North is looking forward to hosting the 2021 New Zealand Food Awards, an event the city has partnered with for the last six years. The city is also home to partners Massey University and Food HQ. We’re Aotearoa’s food science and innovation hub. We’re thrilled to welcome the New Zealand Food Awards in our 150th year. We’ve secured our place on the national map as a creative and exciting city – one with a national role in the future of food innovation. We can’t wait for the award attendees to explore Palmy for themselves!

“In Palmy, we’re renowned for our national role in the future of transport, food innovation and sustainability. We have more than 3000 scientists, researchers and innovators, at Food HQ and Massey University, who are all concentrating on growing the value of New Zealand’s food chain,” Mayor Smith says.

The New Zealand Food Awards have celebrated New Zealand’s food and beverage manufacturers, focusing on innovation and excellence, since 1987. Powered by Massey University, the awards are open to small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies.

This year, the awards have expanded to build on last year’s “Food Hero” theme – developed during lockdown to celebrate the way Kiwi companies responded and reacted to the global pandemic. Palmerston North City Council is sponsoring the Food Hero category, with free entry for the nominations of businesses and individuals.

Mayor Smith says, “The real strength in the wider Manawatū region also includes our growers and farmers who paint the full picture, and together we provide the full spectrum of food, from paddock to plate. The Food Hero Award is the perfect category for our city to support. We’re thrilled to be uplifting people or organisations that support Aotearoa’s food and beverage supply chain. We believe this is an excellent award to back and to champion those who are future-focused and innovative!”

Guests will enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertainment at the New Zealand Food Awards gala dinner in October.

Event information

Companies can enter each product in up to three categories, with free entry into the Food Safety Culture and Food Hero categories. The Massey University Supreme Award winner is selected from the winners of each of the individual category awards. Entries close 31 May, with category finalists announced 18 August.

The New Zealand Food Awards are proud to be represented by a panel of New Zealand’s leading food and beverage experts as judges. The judges represent a cross-section of the industry and bring technical, culinary, scientific, and commercial expertise to the awards.

Winning products earn the New Zealand Food Award’s quality mark to highlight their innovation, sustainability and excellence to shoppers and industry.

The awards programme is made possible with the support of Palmerston North City Council, New Zealand Food Safety, Countdown, AsureQuality, Cuisine Magazine, KiwiSo, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Villa Maria, FMCG Business, FoodHQ, The FoodBowl, The FoodPilot, and The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology Ltd.

2021 Categories

Product Awards

Beverage – Sponsored by the Food Innovation Network

Artisan – Sponsored by Cuisine

Chilled  – Sponsored by Food HQ

Below Zero

Pantry – Sponsored by Countdown

Primary Sector – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety

Health and Wellbeing – Sponsored by Countdown

Novel – Sponsored by KiwiSo

Product Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by AsureQuality

Business Awards

Business Innovation

Food Safety Culture – Sponsored by New Zealand Food Safety


Community Awards

Food Hero – Sponsored by Palmerston North City Council


Key dates:

31 May – Entries close

5-9 July – Judging week

18 August – Finalists announced and tickets to the gala dinner go on sale

18-31 August – People’s Choice voting opens

14 October – Gala dinner and winners announced, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North, 7pm-11pm

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