Australian Grand Dairy award winners announced

Posted by James Ferre on 20th February 2009

A gruyere created from Tasmania’s lush pastures has won the highest accolade among Australian cheeses, while a cream crafted from Gippsland milk has claimed the Champion Dairy Food title in the nation’s foremost dairy competition.

Dairy products from across the country were recognised by Dairy Australia at an awards ceremony in Melbourne on Wednesday February 18 promoting quality, excellence and innovation in Australian dairy foods.

The Australian Grand Dairy Awards were awarded to 18 products selected from more than 330 entries in cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy categories, representing 85 Australian dairy manufacturers. Highly qualified technical experts, cheesemakers, providores, food media and chefs helped select the award-winning products.

Multi-award winning Heidi Farm in Tasmania received recognition this week for the Grand Champion Cheese title at the tenth annual Awards, with Gippsland Dairy Pure Double Cream claiming the Grand Champion Dairy Product title.

Section winners included a cheese with a frisson of chilli, a return win by a Western Australian yogurt, and a banana bliss-out gelato.

“All entrants were gold medal winners in numerous qualifying competitions staged across Australia during 2008,” said Richard Lange, Dairy Australia‘s Head of Marketing and Communications. “These prestigious awards provide independent endorsement for the winners and help consumers identify the best-of-the-best. ”

International judge Professor Sebastien Roustel, from the premier cheese and dairy education facility in France ENILBIO, was impressed by the high standard of quality among this year’s entrants.

“Australian dairy farmers’ focus on quality milk enables them to produce world-class dairy produce,” Professor Roustel noted.

As well as recognising Australia’s highest-quality and innovative products, the awards also acknowledge the achievements of the highly skilled and pioneering people who produce these award-winning foods.

Manufacturing excellence and innovation awards as well as cheesemaker scholarships were presented on the day.

“It is a mark of well-established food industry when our farmers and manufacturers can consistently produce high-quality food despite a global economic crisis and severe weather conditions,” Mr Lange said.

“The dairy industry is committed to delivering quality, sustainability and excellence all the way from its farmers who produce the milk through to the many manufacturers, both large and small, who create the great dairy foods Australians enjoy, everyday,” Mr Lange concluded. “These awards recognise that excellence.”