Coastal Spring Lamb and Mash Tun Crackers are both finalists in this year's New Zealand Food Awards.

Coastal Spring Lamb and Coastal Lamb, the brand founded and owned by Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne, is a finalist in four categories - one for chilled foods, one for primary sector products, one for business innovation and one for export innovation.

Mr Redmayne had never entered the awards before, and was thrilled to have his product a finalist in each category he entered.

His wife Suze and the 14 families that raise the lambs are also extremely excited, he said.


Coastal Spring Lamb is the meat he both sells in New Zealand and exports from October to January. Coastal Lamb is exported to Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Dubai, Belgium, Thailand from February to September.

He's also now the official supplier of lamb to the Black Sticks, New Zealand's women's hockey team.

Mash Tun Crackers are one of seven finalists in the Novel Ingredients Award.

Whanganui's James Chatterton and Mike Cheyne have been developing Mash Tun over the past three years, baking and selling crackers made from the waste brewing grain from Tuatara Brewery.

A successful crowd-funding campaign last year helped them set up their own premises in the Whanganui CBD and purchase a packing kit to deal with an increasing demand.

The pair said being a finalist in the awards would help cement the product's credibility.

"It's good for more brand exposure too," Mr Cheyne said.

Mr Chatterton said: "We're right at the point now where we are trying to get more stockists so this is a pretty good thing to hit them with I think. It's well recognised I think."

After three years of development, promotion and hard work, the business is starting to gain momentum.

"We've gone through a training ground getting ready for bigger markets. We're getting a lot of interest from overseas," Mr Cheyne said.

The New Zealand Food Awards have been going since 1987, and are organised by Massey University. This year entries were up 62 per cent, and 65 products developed by 63 companies were finalists.

The judges are chef and food writer Ray McVinnie, food writer Nici Wickes and chef Geoff Scott. Mr McVinnie said the judging had some "wow moments".

"I definitely has some wow moments, to the point where I just wanted to eat the whole lot."

Winning foods will be able to use the New Zealand Food Awards "Quality Mark". Category winners and a supreme winner will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on October 13.