Much of our industry’s regional seasonal employees (RSEs) leave their families and homes in Vanuatu, as well as many other nations in the Pacific, to meet the demand for New Zealand growers during harvest. So when Grochem discovered the work Unicef New Zealand were doing in Vanuatu to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene education to 81 schools in the Penema region (8,100 students) – the team wanted to get behind the work and began shaping the Nordox campaign to support the project.

Read below for more information on the project and what has been achieved so far.

DateSince 2016ArticleGrochem UNICEF CampaignWorking withUNICEF, Nordox

Supporting the communities that support New Zealand’s growers

The WASH project

In Vanuatu: over 70% of school water supplies are not in good condition and 68% of schools don’t have functional hand washing facilities near the toilets. In Penama province, 63% of schools report that the water is not reliably clean and safe.

As a small, developing Pacific country with strong links to New Zealand, Vanuatu workers make an essential contribution to the New Zealand’s RSE scheme.

The 5-year project was designed to meet the many needs of the Ni-Van people in Penama Province through providing the tools and education needed to access clean water, sanitation and hygiene. The project will reduce child sickness and increase the number of children attending schools. But more importantly, the knowledge and practices children develop through these projects carry on at home and into the community, creating a ripple effect of positive change, which improves with each generation that follows.

But providing the tools for sanitation and hygiene is only part of the equation. If we are to make lasting change, it is vital to work with communities to change life-long behaviours, and ensure that any new infrastructure their needs to improve hygiene and health. Without this step, simply installing new infrastructure does not work.

Unicef staff are also researching existing behaviours and attitudes around water, sanitation and hygiene in schools.

What we did

From 2016 to 2019 Grochem have been running an annual campaign over a two-month period to raise awareness of the work that is being done by Unicef NZ.

Grochem pledges a $10 donation for every purchase of Nordox, made throughout the campaign.

Through magazine ads, articles and news in industry magazines, in-store and event advertising and more, Grochem spread the word about the Unicef WASH in Schools project.

Additional contributions are also pledged against Grochem’s efforts. The Norway based company Nordox (suppliers of the copper disease protectant) and the New Zealand government donated towards Grochem’s funds to ensure the impact we have is substantial.

Growers help to bring clean water and hygiene education to communities in need


Last year, we shared a story of a partnership between Grochem and Unicef NZ to support a ‘water, sanitation and hygiene in schools’ (WASH) project in…

Grochem & Unicef raise $92,000


The rapid growth in the kiwifruit and pipfruit sectors has meant growers have had to seek more staff for harvest, many of the workers are ‘Recognised…

What has been achieved so far?

Over the last two years the combined fundraising efforts and contributions have raised $213,000 towards the project – with 2019 figures still to be realised.

Since beginning in 2016, it has been especially rewarding for the team at Grochem to see that their fundraising efforts, and the support from growers, have allowed for a lot of progress to be made in the WASH in Schools programme. Just some of the developments include:

  • Solid and safe ablution blocks have been built in many schools in the Penama province. This of course is a great improvement to the hole in the ground and a flushing bucket that many children are used to, and it means fewer children will be off school from illness due to poor sanitation.
  • Some schools have been provided with basic facilities, which will be eventually replaced by proper ablution blocks. The new basic facilities allow children to get used to a new way of doing things while providing an immediate improvement in their way of life.
  • Teachers, caregivers and students are being trained on how to improve their sanitation and hygiene practises through activities such as handwashing sessions and menstrual hygiene management awareness.
  • Penama Province’s 7 School Improvement Officers (SIOs; 4 female and 3 male) have been equipped with and trained on using mobile tablets to collect real-time data on WASH status in schools in their coverage area, all information is collated centrally and is updated automatically.
  • A Vanuatu Govt-led Steering committee was formed and strong Govt buy-in established, there is a very strong working relationship between UNICEF and the Vanuatu Government which means that the Govt is heavily involved in all stages of the project and will carry on activities and support for schools after the project ends.

Join us in creating positive outcomes for our local and global communities

Nordox 75WG is a unique Cuprous oxide, a red copper with outstanding features and benefits for pip and stone fruit growers.

Nordox is a very effective in the control and prevention of bacterial disease in a range of crops.

Nordox 75WG has been made in Norway for more than 50 years under some of the world’s strictest environmental protection laws and highest standards of quality control (ISO 9001:2000). Nordox is backed by international agrichemical registrations and organic certifications.