All eyes on Japan for Pest Summit 2022

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The international pest management community once again had the opportunity to gather for three busy days, but this time the venue was Japan for Pest Summit 2022.

The event, organised by the Federation of Asian and Oceania Pest Managers Associations (FAOPMA) was held at the Kyoto International Conference Centre from November 8-11.

Despite the distance travelled by many delegates, accompanied by the rigorous Japanese entry requirements, the event was a sell-out. Over 800 delegates attended, 450 of them from outside Japan representing over 30 different countries. For those unable to travel to Kyoto, the event was also available virtually.

Kenjiro Yamaguchi, the president of the Japan Pest Control Association, and host of this event, welcomed delegates. As an indication of significance of the event, it was formally opened by a former Prime Minister of Japan, the 99th to hold this office, Yoshihido Suga.

Mr Suga congratulated the industry for the significant contribution it made during the covid pandemic and for the fact that pest control is now recognized as an official occupation. “Covid is a global problem, so it is good to share knowledge and experiences at such international events,” he said.

Over the next two days there were more than 40 topical and technical presentations – majority of these presentations came from those falling within the FAOPMA region.

However, there were four from US speakers, and a whole session, chaired by Stephen Doggett, devoted to the dangers of climate change and the role pest control organisations can take to be proactive. This was more than apt, as it was in this very location that the Kyoto Protocol on climate change was adopted in 1997, paving the way for the 2020 Paris Agreement.

The sole UK-based presentation came from Chris Hunt, group M&A director at Rentokil who, with his Asian-based colleague Tony Poulson, outlined the current state of the mergers and acquisitions market.

Running alongside was a 38-stand exhibition which included many of the international companies such as BASF and Syngenta, with Envu making its debut appearance in this part of the world. As to be expected, the local distributor companies were represented along with a fascinating selection of local specialized product developers and manufacturers.

The sole UK-based exhibitor was PestWest, working in conjunction with its Australian company, Starkeys.

Rupert Broome, managing director of the Killgerm Group and PestWest, said: “Getting to Japan was not easy, with all of the ongoing coronavirus related travel restrictions.

“Accordingly, we had set our expectations in terms of attendees at a relatively lower level than previous FAOPMA Pest Summits. However, we were pleased to see more attendees than we had expected and from a suitably wide number of Asian countries. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with many old friends and partners.

“The event was a successful launch pad for two new PestWest products for the region, namely the Chameleon Qualis using our unique Quantum X filament LED technology plus our remote monitoring fly control system, flyDetect.”

From the US, Dominique Stumpf, chief executive of the National Pest Management Association and also treasurer and secretary of the Global Pest Management Coalition, said: “The hospitality and warm welcome by the Japanese Pest Control Association made the conference a remarkable experience for me and I’m sure for many others as well. We had time to make connections, reignite the passion for the work of the Global Pest Management Coalition and identify future opportunities to collaborate.”

As to be expected, delegates found time to explore some of the historic sites of Kyoto and experience a flavour of traditional Japanese entertainment at the gala dinner.

Next year’s FAOPMA event will take place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

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With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.