CEPA and NPMA came together and held a very successful first Global Summit of Pest Management Services for public health and food safety on 3-5 June 201. The event was held at the Juan-les-Pins Conference Centre in Antibes on the French Riviera.
Organised jointly by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) from the USA and Confederation of European Pest Management Associations (CEPA), this event was something of a watershed for both. It was acknowledged in the opening introduction, delivered by Bob Rosenberg, NPMA’s chief executive officer and Roland Higgins, director general of CEPA, that relations between the two associations have sometimes been distinctly frosty; each viewing the other with some suspicion.
|However, they both recognised that globalisation of the food industry necessitates a global approach to pest management in servicing a sector that is economically crucial to pest managers. This conference was the result and it marks the first formal collaborative event organised by these two associations in their 40 years of existence.
The degree of globalisation was perhaps most forcefully bought home by Donald Prater, European director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who pointed out that there are 115,000 food facilities outside of the USA that are registered by FDA to export foods into that country, with the US importing 15% of its total food requirements.
Globalisation was certainly reflected in the conference attendance, with more than 200 delegates, from 35 countries. Regrettably, the UK pest control servicing sector was conspicuous by its virtual absence. Delegate seniority was high and speaker affiliation’s diverse, with delegates representing pest management companies, clients, auditors, regulators and pesticide manufacturers.
After two intensive days of presentations, there was much debate and exchange of views about practices and requirements across Europe, the USA and elsewhere around the world.
Hands across the ocean – Betrand Montmoreau, CEPA chairman, left, with NPMA CEO Bob Rosenberg
|Summing up the feelings of the CEPA hosts, Roland Higgins said: “We are delighted that our call for speakers produced such an impressive array of industry experts and other stakeholders. Together with the Global Summit’s 200 participants from 35 countries they explored the organisation of pest management services in the changing environment of EU and USA regulation, customer requirements and third party certification in food businesses.
“It was a major enterprise of knowledge sharing, made possible with the support and expertise of our American colleagues. This can only benefit the further professionalisation of our industry,” concluded Roland.
CEPA chairman, Bertrand Montmoreau echoed these views saying: “The most positive sign was the outstanding participation of representatives from the food industries honestly detailing their expectations of the pest management industry and their key interest in the new European standard for pest management services and in CEPA certified.”
Offering a trans-Atlantic viewpoint, Bob Rosenberg, NPMA CEO reinforced these opinions saying: “Oversight of the pest management industry is quickly becoming more global, demanding greater industry cooperation. The Global Summit was an exceptional first step towards global harmonisation of industry’s response to these emerging challenges. It is a pleasure for NPMA to have Roland Higgins, Bertrand Montmoreau and the CEPA team as partners in this effort.”
As to the future, the plan is that this will be a bi-annual event, alternating between the USA and Europe.
A more detailed report of proceedings will be appearing in the June & July edition of Pest magazine – issue 39.