Aroha Organic Goat Cheeses
In 1979 John and Jeanne van Kuyk were watching television at home in the Netherlands and saw a programme about a Dutchman who had gone sharemilking in New Zealand. As he talked about how much he loved the lifestyle the couple looked at one another and said: "That's us. That's what we want."
Aroha Organic Goat Cheeses operate a 50 acre farm situated in Waihou at the foot of Mt Te Aroha. They are Certified Organic, GE free and the very first Cheese Co in NZ certified by MPI to produce raw milk cheese. They offer customers a choice of pasteurised or raw milk cheeses, all are hand crafted on the farm from their own goat milk. The animals graze on herbicide and pesticide free pastures and only homeopathic and herbal remedies are used if necessary.
The goats may not know, but they’re being looked after by one of New Zealand’s top cheesemakers. John and Jeanne compete annually in the NZ Champion of Cheese Awards, regularly walking away with award wins. At the national cheese championships in March 2014, Jeanne took out the Milk Test NZ Champion Cheesemaker Award. Her Aroha Raw Milk Rich Plain Cheese also topped the goat cheese section, and her other cheeses won several more medals. The same cheese won again in 2015 the Champion Goat Cheese Award. They say the secret to creating a champion cheese is simple, “love and passion".
“We sited our farm and small factory in Matamata-Piako because the district offers some of the best quality soils along with an ideal climate that provides excellent production conditions. Also being located at the foot of Mt Te Aroha compliments the love and passion for what we are doing. The land prices are affordable and there are excellent transport linkages to get our cheese to our customers. We have found it easy to do business in the district and the community has been very welcoming. The district offers good infrastructure to support our business. We encourage others to invest in Matamata-Piako.” John and Jeanne van Kuyk, Owners.