ConExPest in Krakow – a real cracker

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Congratulations must go to the Polish pest control association for organising ConExPest held in Kraków, Poland on 19 & 20 May.

Cleverly, the Polish association, (PSPDDD ) had joined together with the pest control associations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary so as to make ConExPest an entry point into the rapidly growing East European markets. And, being held in Kraká³w, in the extreme south of Poland, this meant access was easy for delegates from all four countries. Reflecting this joint aproach, the excellent exhibition catalogue and programme was presented in five languages.

The Polish association has only been in operation since 1995 so it is only very young in compared with many other European associations. The very first ConExPest was held three years ago, and although successful, this year’s event was at least twice the size of the first and of a standard equal to any found elsewhere in Europe. With an expanded exhibition, and with exhibitors from all over Europe, the number of exhibition delegates from the four participating countries was somewhat disappointing – as felt by some of the international exhibitors. However, all the main Polish distributors were present, and without exception, all seemed pleased with the attendance.

Without doubt the driving force behind the international success of ConExPest was ‘Mr Pest Poland’ – Adam Puscinski. Having worked in the Polish pest control industry for 23 years, Adam knows the market inside-out. He started his career with Wellcome, then moving with the various company changes through Rousell, AgrEvo, Aventis and now Bayer Environmental Science. He is also a driving force within the Polish association and is currently one of their vice presidents.

Asked for his feedback on ConExPest Adam said: “I’m happy and very satisfied. In particular I would like to thank all those who participated – both visitors and exhibitors, as well as the management team from the venue, Targi. The scale of the event has certainly grown since we organised the initial ConExPest in 2009. But a gap of three years between events I feel is appropriate as this allows time for the arrival of new products onto the market.”

CEPA Europest
Running alongside the exhibition was the CEPA General Assembly followed by the Europest conference. Having been in post almost one year, the CEPA director general, Roland Higgins, reported that income from membership was down from “148,000 to “133,000 yet despite this the association was still in credit. In his review of activities, Roland highlighted their communications work – both in developing allies within the European community in Brussels, but also within the European pest management industry.

Moves are currently in hand by the CEPA management team preparing revisions to the membership structure so as to facilitate growth. One key project remains the creation of a European standard for the provision of pest management services in collaboration with the European Standards Institute (CEN). How this stacks-up with what is forecast to occur within the Sustainable Use Directive caused some heated debate during the Europest part of the proceedings – see report here.

Whilst CEPA may have a new and now fully functioning director general, it is disappointing to report that the industry seems unable to fill the position of president on CEPA, following the resignation of Gunnar Akerblom in November 2010. What message does this give out?

Kraká³w definitely worth a visit
Should ConExPest once again be held in Kraká³w in three years time, anyone who has not yet visited this European city should make a mental note. Several exhibitors and visitors found time in the evenings, or stayed on for the weekend, to see the sights of this beautifully preserved city dating back to the 7th century and which was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596. In 1978 UNESCO granted World Heritage status for the entire old town and historic centre. For those with an interest in bird proofing, the old buildings provided a fine display of nets and various makes of spikes.

Today it is a leading center of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life, as well as Poland’s second largest city and an important economic centre.


The organisers gave a warm welcome

Adam Puscinski
Christened ”Mr Pest Poland” –
Adam Puscinski

The exhibition was as professional as anywhere the world over

UK delegates
Part of the UK ‘delegation’
Left to right: Simon Forrester (BPCA),
Paul Hoyes (Killgerm)
and Dave Avery (AgriSense)

CEPA board
At the CEPA General Assembly
Left to right: Bertrand Montmoreau (Treasurer), Patrick Vernie and
Frederic Verwilghen (Vice-chairmen)

Wawel Hill is the site of the original settlement, now with the Royal Castle

Preserved medieval streets run throughout the old town leading to…

Market square
…the Market square and Cloth Hall where cafes abound

A piece of more modern history. Just under two hours away are the infamous concentration camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau (below). The scale of the camps defies description, and at any one time 90,000 prisoners were housed at Birkenau. A most thought provoking and character-building place to visit.


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