A Leeston dairy farmer’s adoption of regenerative agriculture has won him North Canterbury Fish & Game’s Working with Nature Award for 2019.
The award was won ahead of marketing preparations to launch Westgold nationally.
Master judge Russell Smith says the butter won the supreme butter award because it was, "The sort of butter you just want to slather more and more on. It's a very good example of a technically well-made butter resulting in an even, smooth texture and delicate, sweet flavours."
Manufactured by Westland Milk Products, Westgold butter has been sold throughout the world for more than 12 years. However, it has had limited availability on New Zealand supermarket shelves. This is about to change.
"We've sold Westgold internationally for years but recently decided it was time to share the West Coast's best kept secret with our fellow New Zealanders," says Westland Milk Products chief executive Rod Quin.
"If you live in Azerbaijan you probably already know that Westgold butter is a premium product." Quin said, "but most Kiwis wouldn't know that the champion butter in New Zealand is produced in Hokitika. The best butter starts with the best cream, and our farmers have a high percentage of Jersey cows in their herds, known for producing high quality cream."
Westland conducted a complete redevelopment of Westgold in preparation for the launch on to retail shelves, planned for next week.
"We wanted to develop Westgold to reflect what makes the people and product unique," Quin said. "The butter has new packaging designed to give it a uniquely Kiwi look, while retaining the golden foil that keeps the butter fresh and looking great. The new packaging will be made available to all of our consumers around the globe, but it all starts with New Zealand."
"Behind Westgold is a tradition of making butter on the West Coast dating back to 1893. The process of butter making at Westland's Hokitika factory has been refined over generations to become both an art and a science. Using time-honoured processes based on traditional batch churning, our butter-makers take quality, fresh cream and turn it into the butter that has now been recognised as New Zealand's best."