As a leader in exporting premium New Zealand avocados, AVOCO is excited by the enthusiasm for our industry from participants in this year’s Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition.

A diverse group of young fruit growers have stepped up to compete for the 2020 title, with women outnumbering the men, including two women with close ties to our industry – Katherine Bell, an Avocado Grower Representative from Trevelyans and Melissa van den Heuvel, an Industry Systems Associate with NZ Avocado.

History shows women can more than just compete with their male counterparts. In 2018 AVOCO Technical Representative Danni van der Heijden won the regional event before going on to beat six other contestants to win the New Zealand Young Grower of the Year award. Danni not only won the national title, but was also judged the top Young Fruit Grower and took home awards for finance, innovation and speaking.

Her award was also a back-to-back victory for Bay of Plenty contestants and for women working in horticulture. In 2017, Erin Atkinson became the first woman to win the Young Grower of the Year national title in its 11-year history, working for another AVOCO packhouse partner, Apata.

Both Danni and Erin know how much hard work and dedication is needed to win, in the same way we know how much skill and expertise is needed by growers to produce export quality avocados.

That’s why we’re committed to sharing our technical advice to make sure our growers have all the information they need to maintain healthy trees and productive orchards.

Whether you’re an experienced grower or just starting out on your avocado-growing journey, talk to us about how to maximise your crop.

Download our Grower Toolkit and learn more about the benefits of supplying AVOCO then join us in cheering on the next generation of growers and industry leaders.