Two Hawke's Bay brothers have taken out the top honours at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2020 – the best of the country's locally grown and made food and drink products.
Organic farmers, Bostock Brothers, were named Supreme Champion for their Organic Whole Chicken.
Ben and George Bostock have their chickens roam free on their parents' former apple orchard.
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They pride themselves on letting their chickens grow naturally, feeding them home-grown organic maize and giving them longer, happier lives.
Bostock's chicken is free of chemicals and antibiotics and when it comes to processing their product does not receive chlorine baths.
The judges raved about the product saying, "Outstanding flavour, succulent and delicious".
Bostock Brothers Organic Whole Chicken was also named Giesen Wines Paddock Champion and Bostock Brothers received Gold Medals for Bostock Brothers Chicken Thighs and Bostock Brothers Chicken Breasts.
Twenty-five judges and eight stewards worked in panels to assess a record 225 food and drink entries at AUT School of Hospitality & Tourism on March 7.
Following the judges' assessment of aroma, appearance, taste, texture and quality which accounted for 75 per cent of marks, products were assessed for sustainability and brand story.
Winning products will be recognised as they proudly wear Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards Champion, Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals—a guarantee of product quality.
For the fourth-year judging was overseen by champion of NZ produce, Lauraine Jacobs.
She noted it was exciting to see many more entries, all of which displayed great depth of innovation and attention to detail in production.
"Food businesses that address these issues are helping regenerate NZ's food system to one that is more resilient, healthy and environmentally and socially-responsible.
"It's good for our environment, good for people, and good for business."