Whilst the majority of delegates attending PestWorld come from within the US, an increasingly large number come from abroad. In total representatives attended from over 50 countries worldwide. This unique gathering provides a special opportunity for discussions on a global scale and for general international networking.
On Thursday afternoon, the third day of PestWorld, the Global Pest Management Coalition met to review progress and plan ahead. For such a large international presence at PestWorld it was somewhat disappointing to only see just over 20 people in the room, accompanied by nine members from the board.
Formed in June 2017, the Global Pest Management Coalition arose as a result of the two Global Summit conferences organised in France (2015) and New York (2017). A key feature has been the creation of World Pest Day in Beijing (2017).
The mission is to provide a unified voice across the globe promoting the value of pest management in ensuring the protection of health, home, food and businesses.
Each country representative gave a quick update on the state of professional pest control within their geographical area – opportunities, challenges and, for those countries which participated, an update on this year’s World Pest Day activities.
What always strikes you on such occasions is how similar the issues are across the globe. In particular: the status of licensing (or more frequently not) of pest technicians; the lack of recognition of the contribution pest management plays in the maintenance of a clean and healthy living environment as well as the problems of attracting, training and then retaining good quality pest technicians.
The group agreed that one way forward was to create a set of standards for recognition on a global scale. As a result, it was agreed a Task Force be set up to explore this option. Being something of a cynic, although highly laudable, have we not been down this route before?
Executive board members and delegates at the Global Pest Management Coalition meeting
Reports on World Pest Day
World Pest Day (WPD) featured strongly in the international session the previous day. Association and industry leaders from China, Mexico and India gave presentations outlining the successes they had had with this initiative. Originally conceived in China by Ms Xiao Yun Huang it has certainly had an impact there.
Pascal Cai, from the Chinese Pest Control Association, outlined their activities which included animated films, bill boards in the subway, the use of social media. He said: “Before WPD very few people had an appreciation of pests. Now they know much more and appreciate pest controllers’ efforts.” They certainly have plenty of scope in China as the figures are staggering - in the early 1990’s there were around 1,000 technicians and 12 pest control companies in China. Now the comparable figures are 200,000 technicians and 20,000 companies!
Speakers at the interntional World Pest Day session. Left to right: Pascal Cai (China),
Not all work and no play...
On a much more social note, the other international highlight at PestWorld events is always the international reception sponsored by Orkin. This year was no exception and a grand evening was had by all – especially as it was outside on a very pleasant warm evening with a view of the setting sun.
The Australian delegation - partying at the international reception!