The combined efforts of a 72-year-old Eketahuna grandmother and her "girls", Dizzy and Patsy, have put them on the top of the world - the cheese world that is.

Biddy Fraser-Davies has won a super gold award at the British Guild of Fine Foods 2014 World Cheese Awards in London with her traditional Cwmglyn farmhouse cheese.

Mrs Fraser-Davies told the Dannevirke News she was "stoked and excited" to be named among the world's 62 top cheesemakers in a competition with 2600 entrants from 34 countries.

"That particular cheese was very nice and when I put it in our little shop it just vanished, so I knew I was on to something," she said. "It's quite fun being up there with the best in the world."


Mrs Fraser-Davies has battled authorities for the right to make and sell old-fashioned cheese from her four-cow herd and she said her win was a boost after receiving a letter last month from a MPI food safety official stating that although extensive testing of her cheeses found no problems, she would be closed down if she didn't pay for a risk management audit by November 1.

"I paid the $4436, for an auditor to come from Whangarei to Eketahuna, a big slice of my $33,000 annual turnover," she said. "Now I have sent an email to MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries), about my win, but I've had no response."

Cwmglyn farm supplies cheeses from Holly, Patsy, Isobel and Dizzy - staid middle-aged cows - to exclusive restaurants and it was also on the menu for Prince George's Government House play-date in April.

Production began at the farm south of Eketahuna 11 years ago after Mrs Fraser-Davies was given a calf she named Gwendoline.

The pampered herd of four live without exposure to pesticides or chemical drenches, happy to chew their cud, amble to the one-cow milking parlour and produce quality milk.

"All our cheeses are pretty good and the competition is excellent as I like to benchmark them against the best," she said. "I entered this competition for the first time last year and won a silver, but I was worried it would be a big come-down if I didn't win anything this year."

News of Mrs Fraser-Davies superb cheese has reached television foodie Peta Mathias, who has taken to Facebook saying: "Save some for me. I'll come in at the end of the week."

Mrs Fraser-Davies likes her cheeses to be tasty. "But I don't want them to take the roof off your mouth," she said. "All the cheeses are between six and seven months old and I sell more in the summer, but as I'm not allowed to sell them under three months I can struggle a bit to stock enough when demand is high. I like making these traditional, old-fashioned cheeses because they just sit there quietly getting tastier."