The 2015 DIAA awards of excellence name the country's top dairy products.
Australia's top dairy products have been announced at the 2015 Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) Awards of Excellence. This is the 120th year this influential body has named and celebrated the top products across the industry.
Judging took place over three days in March, with a judging team of 40 industry experts sizing up over 1,200 entries in more than 100 categories. The judges handed out 174 gold medals and 860 silver medals as well as a clutch of industry awards.
The results were announced at a gala dinner on 14 May, and all gold medal winners will now be invited to enter the Australian Grand Dairy Awards organised by Dairy Australia.
One of the top performers was Riverine Blue: this buffalo milk cheese from Berrys Creek Gourmet Cheese was named Australia's best cheese and picked up the Most Outstanding Show Exhibit award.
Other cheese winners included Floridia Cheese's Floridia Ricotta (Highest Scoring Italian-Style Cheese) and Bega Rindless Vintage Cheddar, the latter earning Doug Mikula from Bega Cheese the accolade of Australia's best cheesemaker.
Dooley's Ice Cream was also a star of the awards, with almost all of the entered products earning medals. The Victoria-based company's Premium Passionfruit Ice Cream earned the Highest Scoring Frozen Product award.
Other industry award winners included Tweedale Pure Pouring Cream (Highest Scoring Cream or Dessert) and Brownes Extra Creamy Milk (Highest Scoring Milk).
Fonterra Australia also enjoyed a successful night at the award ceremony, with the company picking up 76 awards – 12 gold and 64 silver – across brands such as Western Star butter, Perfect Italiano cheese and Tamar Valley yoghurt. Fonterra's Stanhope NZMP skim milk powder was awarded the GEA Westfalia Spectator Award for highest scoring milk powder, while other successes included the highest scoring salted butter (Cobden Fonterra Bulk Salted Butter) and highest scoring semi-matured cheddar cheese (Stanhope Bega Cheese).