Avoco is excited to announce a scholarship available for the 2022 tertiary year and is now inviting applications.

About Avoco

With around 800 grower suppliers, Avoco is New Zealand’s largest and leading avocado export group responsible for more than 60% of the industry’s national crop, exporting this superfood to customers in Australia and countries across the Asian market arena.

To learn more about Avoco, take a look through this website or check us out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AvocoNZ.

Our challenge is your opportunity

The ability to reliably and consistently deliver premium quality fruit to consumers is critical to Avoco’s continued success in the international market place.

With avocados being a product of nature, there are always challenges in meeting this objective from one season to the next.

Research & Development is a key focus area for Avoco so we are keen to see more graduates working in this space. Examples of areas needing to be better understood and/or addressed by the avocado industry include;

  • Alternate or irregular crop bearing
  • Crop estimation techniques
  • Post-harvest quality issues
  • Pest & disease control (consumer & environment friendly options)
  • Shipping technologies to improve fruit out-turn and / or extend shelf life

Here’s what’s on offer

  • NZ$5,000 to go towards tuition fees (payable at commencement of studies)
  • Prospective summer holiday work in a related field of study (for discussion)
  • Mentoring and support from people across the Avoco community

Here’s the eligibility criteria

  • You must be entering your final year of study for a Bachelor degree (or similar) in 2022
  • You will be enrolled at any New Zealand University
  • You must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Your studies will include a subject related to any one of the following;
    • Fruit Production
    • Plant Protection, Entomology
    • Biosecurity, Biochemistry, Biological Science
    • Post-harvest fruit quality
    • New technologies with potential relevance to horticulture


Here’s how to apply

Please send your Resume, a summary of tertiary studies and results to date, along with a letter of application by email to Avoco Quality and Export Systems Manager Danni van der Heijden at danni@avoco.co.nz no later than Friday 22 October 2021.

Your application should cover;

  • Comment on how your studies will benefit Avoco and / or the avocado industry
  • Examples of your leadership skills, any community service roles, and / or sporting and cultural activities and achievements
  • A vision of what you ideally see yourself doing career-wise



Meet Danni

Danni van der Heijden joined Avoco as a Technical Representative in 2018, supporting Avoco’s drive to improve fruit quality through research, both on-orchard and post-harvest.

Her career started after earning a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Waikato. She later became a Research Associate at NZ Avocado before working within Trevelyan Pack & Cool’s avocado business unit.

A consistent achiever outside of work as well, she won the New Zealand Young Grower of the Year award in August 2018. She earned the right to compete for the national title after winning the Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year award in February 2018.

She is an avocado orchard owner and, in 2020, was promoted to Quality and Export Systems Manager.



Avoco Tertiary Scholarship

Danni van der Heijden

Quality and Export Systems Manager

Email: danni@avoco.co.nz