Fonterra Process Manager Grant Rooney, butter maker John Kelman, butter senior packer Ali Braid and shift team lead Brett Lewis show off their champion butter trophy.

Fonterra’s unsalted butter, sold under the Mainland brand in New Zealand, picked up top marks from the international panel at the recent 14th annual New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards. Manufactured at Fonterra’s NZMP Clandeboye plant in South Island, the product won the top butter prize for its appearance and aroma as well as being particularly commended for its good flavour. The awards are held by the NZ Specialist Cheese Association every year to honour excellence in cheese making, with butter and yoghurt categories recently being added to recognise the importance of these products for consumers. Grant Rooney, Fonterra Process Manager at the plant said his “Clandeboye Cream team” were delighted that their ‘everyday’ butter turned out to be so special. “Our butter is standard, natural butter 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,” Rooney said, adding that the cream is churned from grass-fed milk, well known to be more flavorful and nutritious.

“My team is very proud to have picked up this award but credit also belongs with our Fonterra farmers as top quality grass-fed milk makes top quality butter,” Rooney acknowledged. Clandeboye, in South Canterbury, is one of Fonterra’s largest manufacturing sites and the NZMP unsalted butter made there is used by food manufacturers all over the world. NZMP’s salted butter also won a bronze medal at the awards. Butter has experienced a renewed popularity recently and is seeing a growth in consumption all over the world, most notably in China, Africa and the Middle East. “Consumers increasingly want natural, wholesome products. They want to understand all the items on an ingredient list. Butter fits perfectly. It’s either just cream or cream and salt and our NZMP Clandeboye unsalted butter certainly fits the bill,” said Fonterra Dairy Foods Category Director, Casey Thomas.