Hawke’s Bay’s Juliet Harbutt is a global cheese aficionado and wanted to use her talents to help Tearfund’s dairy project in Sri Lanka.

You can purchase tickets to Juliet Harbutt's tasting here.

body-(2).jpg


About the project


After the Sri Lankan war ended in 2009, many farmers lost their livelihoods and were plunged into poverty. Farmers in Sri Lanka commonly have one or two cows, but they had only ever used those cows to get protein and milk for personal use—never as a reliable income.

The project is helping small-scale dairy farmers to turn dairy farming into a full-time job and make a living out of it.

“The idea that I can help lift farmers out of poverty and give them a better life, excites me,” says Juliet.

The project started eight years ago with just eight farmers producing 150L of milk a month. Now, 4500 farmers are producing 500,000L a month. More than a 3000% increase!

“It’s absolutely fantastic what they are doing in Sri Lanka. It’s great how they are upskilling dairy farmers without changing the landscape.”


Juliet Harbutt


Juliet has always had a passion for food and cooking, so she pursued that passion and opened a café in Wellington called The Parsons Nose.

But it wasn’t long before Europe and cheese caught her imagination. So, she decided to sell her café in Wellington and move to London. It was there she opened one of London’s finest wine and cheese shops, Jeroboams, selling over 150 raw-milk cheeses.

“Yes, it was a big decision to move to Europe, but I just did it. I said to myself I can do this and didn’t hesitate,” says Juliet.

Her expertise was quickly recognised by the French, she won many awards and became a Master of Cheese.

"What I love about cheese is you can start with something as simple as milk and end up with thousands of different cheeses. It’s amazing how one product can do that.”

Juliet has tasted artisan cheese in many remote towns in Europe. She was invited on a tour around Spain where she went to around 30-40 cheesemakers.

“Every cheese represents someone’s livelihood. In some remote places I visited in Spain, if they stopped making cheese, the town would lose its purpose.”

She sold Jeroboams a few years later to focus on writing, training and helping others set up shops and delis.

“I absolutely love to educate and inspire people about cheese,” says Juliet.

“My journey has been rewarding and challenging. I have crossed paths with some amazing people.”

Prince Charles was a standout for Juliet. He wrote the foreword in her first book on cheese. She also helped develop and design a cheese for the Prince.

While living in Europe, she helped introduce artisan cheeses into supermarkets, including supermarket giant Tesco and Marks & Spencer. As well as founding the British Cheese Awards and the Great British Cheese Festival.

She also regularly featured on the BBC food programme, Come Dine With Me and wrote for several magazines and newspapers including The Financial Times. She also wrote a column in NZ House and Garden for 10 years.

After 35 years living abroad, she moved to Hawke’s Bay to start her new business venture, Hunter Gatherer Tours, giving bespoke tours of Hawke’s Bays food, wine and scenery.

One of her newest clients is New Zealand’s gourmet grocery store, Farro Fresh.

Her passion is to work with cheese makers and artisan producers and to promote their cheese through masterclasses, tastings and events in Hawke’s Bay, nationally and internationally.


The event


On Friday, March 26 at 6:30pm, Juliet will be hosting a tasting at the Northern Club in Auckland. She will be expertly pairing some of New Zealand's finest artisan cheeses with selected wines, followed by salad and dessert. We hope to see you there!
 


You can purchase tickets to Juliet Harbutt’s cheese tasting below

 

 

Book now


Related posts

Why periods are no longer a red light

Why periods are no longer a red light

Monday, 11 October 2021 — Compassion International

Today is International Day of the Girl Child where we recognise the rights and unique challenges girls face globally. One of the many challenges they face is period poverty. Millions of girls in developing countries experience shame, confusion and even stigma and discrimination when they get their period. The good news is in Compassion centres around the world, girls are finding education, protection, empowerment, safe bathrooms and period supplies.

 

Read more

Haiti earthquake: to weep and to hope

Haiti earthquake: to weep and to hope

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 — Compassion International

As Haiti faces another devastating earthquake, Willow Welter from Compassion says, while it is time to weep with Haitians now, there is hope to rejoice as she reflects on what has been achieved by supporters since the last big earthquake occurred in 2010, which killed more than 200,000 people. With support, these communities will once again rise from the rubble and be able to rejoice again.
 

Read more

Four years on, we will not forget the Rohingya people

Four years on, we will not forget the Rohingya people

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 — Andrew Robinson

Today, August 25, marks four years since extreme violence and human rights atrocities erupted against the Rohingya people, forcing thousands to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh. The Rohingya Refugee Crisis continues to this day, with over 880,000 refugees still living in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. We remember the Rohingya people today, and invite you to pray with us as you read our reflections on this crisis in this blog.
 

Read more

Kids around the world: My favourite foods

Kids around the world: My favourite foods

Friday, 20 August 2021 — Compassion International

We thought we’d ask some children who attend Compassion child development centres what their favourite foods to eat were. Here’s what they had to share.
 

Read more

Kiwi working to prevent human trafficking

Kiwi working to prevent human trafficking

Friday, 13 August 2021 — Keith Ramsay

Sean Hatwell’s experience as a detective fighting organised crime in New Zealand, took him to the streets and red-light districts of Thailand, working with Tearfund’s partner to disrupt trafficking rings peddling misery for victims of human trafficking.
 

Read more

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

A year on from the Beirut explosion, the effects are still being felt

Wednesday, 04 August 2021 — Tearfund New Zealand

Today marks one year since the devastating explosion at Beirut’s port in Lebanon killed more than 180 people. As one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded, it left hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands of people homeless and unemployed. Your support enabled our local partner MERATH, a Christian NGO in Lebanon, to help thousands of vulnerable individuals and families. Here’s what we were able to do with your donation.
 

Read more

My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

My three top tips to becoming an ethical fashion consumer

Monday, 02 August 2021 — Juliette Epstein

When it comes to ethical fashion, there’s always a bigger picture. Here are three things I have learnt since being an ethical fashion intern at Tearfund. I hope these tips will help you think about how and what you're consuming and that my journey will help yours!
 

Read more

Show more