At the recent Italian association (ANID) conference held at Paestum on 24 and 25 March, several of the international speakers called for unification of the industry across national borders and for the creation of strategic partnerships.
Leading with his rallying call of: “One world – one industry” was Rob Lederer, executive vice president of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) in the USA. He pointed out that the detractors of our industry were well organised and worked on a global basis – just as the pest control industry should. “Whilst we may speak in different languages and have different cultures, the pests we encounter are the same the world over – an Italian pest controller faces the same challenges as pest controllers around the globe,” declared Rob.
He went on to say: “We must move from a reactive to a proactive global industry.” Rob cited the current ‘green’ movement as an ideal opportunity saying: “The industry lost the opportunity to define Integrated Pest Management in terms relevant to us, but now we have the chance to define what ‘green’ means – if we lead others will follow.”
Rob Fryatt, director general of CEPA, picked-up on this green theme. In his presentation he highlighted the changes which have taken place over the last ten years in the global environment we work within – climate change, the role of the internet, the significance of food industry auditors, and last but certainly not least, the emergence of all matters ‘green’. “Organic production is now main-stream. Ethical and social issues are the challenge. Green is no longer a nice idea, it is the focus of European society. Shoppers are well informed (via the internet), consider ethical issues (such as the purchase of organic cotton) and buy organic food which they demand to be consistently grown and appropriately labelled,” Rob concluded.
Within Europe, Gunnar Aká«rblom, president of CEPA, summarised the value of the European pest control industry. From market research undertaken by CEPA, the estimated value of the European industry is “2,400 million, employing 37,000 people operating within 9,000 individual companies which represents over 80% of the service business value in the EU.
Summing-up the overall mission for CEPA, Gunnar said it is: “To secure quality and growth of the European pest management industry. CEPA is your voice in Brussels.”
President of ANID, Sergio Urizio, reinforced the significant position CEPA had adopted regarding the creation of a single European standard for professional pest control. CEPA is working on this with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and in Italy, at a national level, ANID is working alongside UNI, the Italian Organization for Standardization. The aim of this industry-led standard is that it will become the accepted standard once the regulations contained within the Sustainable Use Directive become applicable to the biocides industry – click here to review implications.
International speakers – left to right: Patrick Vernie, Nick Hamon, Rob Lederer and Rob Fryatt
The audience listened intently
Reflecting these themes, Nick Hamon from Bayer Environmental Science in the USA concluded by saying: “We must all combine and build partnerships to solve these global issues.” As an example, he cited the anti-malaria campaign funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Rounding off these presentations, session chairman, Patrick Vernie, vice president of CEPA, said: “These talks presented by speakers from around the world are a great example of how we can unify the industry.”