Calling all cheese-lovers! The Great Eketahuna Cheese Festival is on Sunday May 26 and Monday May 27 2019 at the Eketahuna Community Centre.
And this year it’s bigger and even better, over two days, starting on Sunday!
There are producers from all over the county coming: Kaikoura Cheese, Whangapiro Buffalo Co, Sentry Hill Organics, Cartwheel Creamery, Mt Eliza Cheese, ViaVio Cheese, Nieuwenhuis Farmstead Cheese, Bellefield Butter Co, Little Farm Goat Dairy, Kingsmeade Cheese, Faisons du Fromage, Cranky Goat, The Deer Milker and Blackwood Cheese.
I love this festival, it’s intimate and exciting. You can feel the passion of the small scale cheese maker, breathe in their fighting spirit and experience an amazing community, literally at the grassroots of great New Zealand cheese.
I dream of a day when Kiwi cheese is up there on the global stage with our Savs and Pinot Noirs, our lamb and our movies. And it’s here in Eke that you’ll find the life blood of this dream. The makers, the sellers, and my cheesey friends, the eaters.
Because we eaters are a key part on the equation, our stomachs and purses are vital to the health of our small scale and farm house cheese industry.
And it is an industry under threat of extinction.
Under threat due to unaffordable regulatory measures designed for food safety in industrial dairy. New Zealand dairy regulations are geared to huge, complex factories of export-orientated companies and they cripple our small-scale cheese makers.
So cheese folk, make the pilgrimage to Eke, hang out with our artisan cheese makers and mongers, share a slice of their dreams and aspirations and get to the heart of what troubles and fuels them.
Oh and along the way eat a sh*t–load of cheese and dairy. See you there!