• Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Chatham Island Seafood Company Wins Top Honor at Awards

ByLinda W. Smith

Jun 21, 2022

Chatham Island Food Co won the top prize at the Outstanding New Zealand Food Producer Awards in Auckland last night.

In the awards’ six-year history, this is the first time seafood has won top honors.

Seafood New Zealand chief executive Jeremy Helson said it was great to see sustainability and innovation being celebrated in the industry.

“We know how much work goes into protecting our marine resources while producing top quality seafood, but it’s wonderful to see this recognized.

“Producers like Chatham Island Food Co make us all proud, flying the flag for New Zealand seafood nationally and internationally.”

Delwyn and Gigi Tuanui bought a dilapidated factory on the Chatham Islands in 2015 and now employ 25 people and have 30 fishing vessels for themselves.

Their Chatham Island blue cod, marketed as Chatham Blue and sold as frozen, skinless, boneless fillets, is sustainably fished and is the mainstay of their business, but their pāua and kina products are also shipped to discerning customers across mainland New Zealand. These products include chopped pāua, whole pāua, crawfish tails, frozen kina pots, and pāua pies.

In addition to being the recipient of the top prize, three of Chatham Island Food Co’s products have won gold medals – Ground Pāua, Chatham Blue Cod and Pāua Pies, which are made in partnership with the West Coast Pie Company. The pāua hash went on to be the overall winner of the Seafood New Zealand Water Award.

Seventh-generation Chatham-Islander Delwyn Tuanui was at the awards last night to accept the honour.

“I am humble. Fishing companies need fishermen, they need deckhands, they need office managers. It’s a huge team effort, and it’s a team effort from a group of people who live in the most isolated part of the world.

“We have an incredible culinary story to tell. I just feel excited and proud to be a Chatham Islander,” says Tuanui.

Akaroa Salmon also received an award.

As one of the first producers of King Salmon in New Zealand, the pioneering spirit behind the company’s success has been recognized with the NZ Life and Leisure Spirit of New Zealand award.

Seafood New Zealand congratulates all winners, whether on land or at sea.
“New Zealand food producers are world leaders and deserve recognition,” says Helson.

© Scoop Media

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