Meet SA’s 2017 Avo Ambassadors

Derek Donkin, CEO SAAGA; Amy Hopkins,
food writer Women’s Health and Sam Linsell,
creator of

The first-ever Avo Ambassador competition, introduced last year by the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), has been won by Amy Hopkins, food editor of Women’s Health and Sam Linsell, creator of

The awards were presented on Wednesday, 14 March 2018 at a media breakfast held to welcome in the 2018 local avocado season at Open Door restaurant on the Constantia Uitsig Estate. Johannesburg media weren’t left out and they enjoyed their avo inspired breakfast the previous day at Bolton Road Collection restaurant in Rosebank.

The Avo Ambassador competition aims to recognise South African food writers who have gone the extra mile to promote avocados and, as one of the judges commented, make people fall in love with avos all over again.  SAAGA will be sending both Amy and Sam off to Amsterdam for a long weekend, where they will explore Amsterdam and also enjoy a lunch at The Avocado Show – one of the world’s first avocado inspired restaurants.

“I’m honoured to be chosen as South Africa’s avocado ambassador – my partner calls me Queen Avocado, so it’s quite fitting!” said Hopkins.  “I don’t eat dairy, so I am often looking for ways to get a creamy texture from alternative foods and avocados offer just that.”

Linsell added, “I am over the moon about winning the prize and cannot wait to experience a restaurant dedicated to the avocado.  Apart from the amazing taste, I love avocados because they are so nutritious and their smooth texture allows for them to be used in anything from dressings to ice cream to topping a pizza.”

The judging panel included Derek Donkin, CEO of SAAGA; Hans Boyum, Westfalia; Zander Ernst, Allesbeste Boerdery; Alta van Eeden, The Fruit Farm Group South Africa and Clive Garrett, ZZ2.  “The Avo Ambassador received 11 entries which included print, online and electronic food media.  We are looking forward to receiving the entries for this year’s competition and we thank the media for their on-going support in raising the awareness for local avocados and the multitude of delicious ways they can be eaten,” said Donkin. –Press release