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R&D Summer Internship

Date: 07-Sep-2022

Location: Mount Maunganui, NZ

Company: Zespri Group Limited

About Zespri


Zespri is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit with over 800  people in New Zealand and throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.

We  help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We sit at the heart of an interconnected industry working with 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers in Italy, France, Greece, South Korea and Japan. We supply the world’s healthiest little superfruits to people in more than 50 countries. We are fruit on a mission.

Our values are at the heart of everything we do. We commit to guardianship; putting people, the community, and the environment first. We are results-driven, challenging ourselves to grow and deliver better value. We cultivate personal connections, listening and acting with empathy and humility – and treating each other better for it.

We are growing quickly, driven by our success in engaging more and more consumers and by offering the world’s best kiwifruit 12 months of the year. We have bold ambitions and aim to grow sales from approximately $3 billion in 2018 to $4.5 billion by 2025.

To achieve our goals, we’re empowering our people to achieve their goals, designing our work for wellbeing, through flexible work practices and self-leadership.

We have bold ambitions for the future and we want all of our people to live and perform at their best.


About The Role


Are you a student and looking to complement your studies with industry experience over your summer break? Please read on… 

The Offer



We have eight R&D internship projects kickstarting in November 2022 and are looking for keen Innovation Research & Development (R&D), Summer Interns who are wanting to gain kiwifruit industry experience in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty. An Innovation Intern will have the opportunity to dive into an exciting Research & Development project, and grow their understanding of this industry, the R&D environment of a corporate organisation, and develop professional skills along the way.  

Program dates: Tuesday 29th Nov 2022 – Tuesday 14th Feb 2023





Business improvement projects – To drive these projects the successful candidates will be working towards a degree in science (biology, horticulture or similar), technology, business or logistics, have great communication skills both oral and written, experience with excel, report writing, and referencing. 
Project 1 - Fruit Quality Training: This project will involve the development and extension of training programs to upskill the supply chain to work more effectively helping to address fruit quality issues.  
Project 2 - Biosecurity Risk: The project will involve scouting relevant data bases and resources to identify key trends in biosecurity data to highlight where there are opportunities to build upon these new learnings to create value for the kiwifruit industry.  

Emerging technologies projects – Two projects offered in this space. 
Project 3 - Image Analysis for Measuring Maturity and Quality: This project looks at designing a tool to more efficiently measure fruit quality through image analysis of seed colour and counts. Including an image analysis literature review. An engineering background would be beneficial with the skill set to preform image analysis technique using open source program e.g Python/ImageJ or Matlab. 
Project 4 - Environmental Risk Assessment: Environmental data will be sourced and analysed using GIS to produce a report outlining environmental risks for kiwifruit orchards. Candidate will have engineering/science background. Interest in sustainability and environmental research. Good data analysis and communication skills. 



Data analysis driven projects – Four projects offered in this space. For these projects you will need strong background/interest in data analytics and modelling, be experienced in excel and a passion for thinking out of the box.  
Project 5 - Understanding Impact of Growing Conditions and Supply Chain Conditions on Kiwifruit Quality: Growing conditions and supply chain conditions data will be analysed to understand how these different factors influence quality outturn in markets.  
Project 6 - RubyRed Kiwifruit Colour Quantification: This project will look to better understand the occurrence of red flesh in the RubyRed variety and identify any trends across seasons. 
Project 7 - Outliers Analysis of all the at Harvest Clearance Matrices: This project will involve analysis of harvest clearance data sets to quantify the outliers to identify trends in occurrence and present learnings back to the wider technical/fruit performance team. 
Project 8 - Investigating Psa Resistance: Analysing spray data to identify patterns in Psa protectant sprays across years and regions. To look in-depth at copper use on orchards and corelate copper usage to Psa resistance development.  



Being a Zespri R&D Summer Intern

Our office is based in the beautiful Bay of Plenty a great place to spend the summer, with beaches, waterfalls and the Kaimai ranges all close by for summer day adventures! 
Zespri Innovation R&D Summer Interns will have the opportunity to be a part of the Summer Open Lab – a student intern community consisting of four events bringing together students working in companies across the BOP over the Nov – Feb period.


How to apply 

Please send through your CV and a one page cover letter by 30th September. In your cover letter please specify which project(s) you are most interested in and you feel your skills are best suited to.  




Zespri will not accept applications or contact from any temporary staffing agency, placement service or professional recruiter for this vacancy (“Agency”).


Where Zespri requires the support of an agency to fulfil a vacancy, we will proactively seek this support from our network of Agencies.  We respectfully ask that you do not contact Zespri or any of its affiliates/employees regarding vacancies, and reserve the right not to reply.


Zespri will not be responsible for, and will not pay, any fees, commissions or other payments related to such unsolicited resumes.