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Cheese whiz!

June 30, 2015 – Craig Church from Barrys Bay Cheese takes out Primary ITO Aspiring Cheesemaker award

The Primary ITO Aspiring Cheesemaker award at the national NZ Champions of Cheese Awards is the “first national award” that Barrys Bay cheesemaker Craig Church has ever won.

“It felt really good!!” Craig explains, saying that he only jotted down some speech notes that night.

A cheesemaker at Barrys Bay Cheese on Banks Peninsula, Craig was supported by Head Cheesemaker Peter Corbett as well as owners Mike and Catherine Carey and Sales and Marketing coordinator Kelsey Lovett from the Barrys Bay team during the evening.

Craig enjoys cheesemaking because he likes creating things. “There’s a bit of chemistry behind it,” Craig explains. “Different temperatures and acids affect the cheese. Milk powder is also used to standardise different varieties of cheeses.”

However, Craig says the best thing about his job is the people.

“I appreciate working very closely with our Head Cheesemaker, Pete. His willingness to pass on knowledge keeps me learning and has made my time at Barrys Bay Cheese really enjoyable. It’s a satisfying job because each make is slightly different depending on the variety of cheese we are producing, and in the end, you can see and taste your creation!”
Moving up the ranks within Barrys Bay, Craig started out in the packing room, assisted with orders and has now been working as a cheesemaker for four years full time.

Having sampled other careers from forestry, through to labouring and building, Craig feels like he has now found his true calling and the Aspiring Cheesemaker award is the cheese on top!
As for the future, Primary ITO is developing an apprenticeship scheme for the cheesemaking industry that will encompass four levels of training. The Level 2 Entry qualification will cover the generic food processing industry, giving an introduction into the different food processing avenues. The Level 3 and 4 qualifications, and the Level 5 components, will be specific to the cheesemaking industry. The ITO plans to launch these new qualifications this year.
For more information or to source images of Craig or Barrys Bay Cheese, or for further information about Primary ITO, please contact:

Anna Lindsay, Primary ITO Marketing Communications Adviser [email protected] or call (04) 382 9626.


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