Food industry and wildlife topics at PestEx

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With 27 seminars and workshops to attend visitors were spoilt for choice. Here three are reviewed which caught our attention. Watch-out for further reports in future Pest magazine editions.

New BRC global standard available
With the food industry very much in mind, an early presentation from John Figgins of the British Retail Consortium gave a presentation on the latest version of their widely used standard. This standard is now applied in 22,500 sites of which 18,000 are food manufacturers across 120 countries. Mr Figgins was happy to confirm that the new standard (version 7) was being introduced against a backdrop of a reduction in non-conformances. 79.3% of sites had ‘clean sheets’ in 2014 compared to 73% in 2012.

In pest control terms the amendments to the new standard are relatively minor. The message to our industry being: “Don’t just do it, prove it!” Keep site plans up-to-date and whatever actions you take, record them!

The Global Standard: Food Safety will apply from 1 July 2015. It is available free of charge from the BRC bookshop and is also available in the new Pest Library.



Pestex 2015 - BRCJohn Figgins of BRC

What does your client want?
Continuing the food theme, representatives from Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Nestlá© come together to form a panel to discuss what they want, as the client, from their pest control contractors. 

Chaired by British Pest Control Association (BPCA) president Martin Harvey it provided a fascinating insight into the importance these household names place on pest management.

All three were acutely aware of the potential negative impact pests can have on the value of their brands and indeed their whole company. There were plenty of messages for pest professionals looking to improve the way they look after their customers, being pro-active, providing honest feedback, suggesting where new products and techniques should be used or at least tried out.


Pestex 2015 - Food discussionLeft to right: Matthew Bandar Tesco, Martin Harvey BPCA, Ferenc Varga Nestlá© and Mandy Keepax M&S

But there was one topic that came up time and again – the importance of good communication – that’s communication within the servicing company between technicians and managers as well as between the servicing company and the client. As an aside it was also interesting to hear that whilst they all professed to a zero-tolerance to pests all three understood that this was an unrealistic goal especially in older stores and premises.

Don’t be mistaken for a terrorist when treating wildlife
Turning the spotlight onto wildlife, over in the technical theatre, Gary Williams from the Association of Urban Wildlife Professionals (AUWP), aided by PC Steve Thornhill, the Wildlife Crime Officer for Staffordshire, explored the question of police intervention in wildlife control exercises. PC Thornhill emphasised that the police recognised the need for firearms for certain types of vertebrate control, but urged pest controllers to phone 101 so as to ‘create a log’ of the exercise before starting it. He further requested these pest controllers to call in afterwards to confirm that the job was complete.

With the current terrorist threat level at ‘severe’, a report from the public that someone was carrying or using firearms, particularly in an urban environment, would lead police to assume the worst – that a ‘Paris style’ attack was in progress. Automatically an armed response vehicle (ARVs) would be dispatched to the scene. The police may even initiate what was referred to as a ‘Hard Stop’. Here the ‘suspects’ would be surrounded by several ARVs, the occupants of which will have automatic weapons at the ready!

Pestex 2015 - Wildlife
Left to right: Gary Williams from AUWP with session chairman Jeff Callaghan (BPCA) with
PC Steve Thornhill, wildlife crime officer for Staffordshire

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