Editor’s note: More than 250 delegates attended the recent pest control conference held March 24-25, at Paestum in southern Italy, organized by the Italian pest control association, Associazione Nazionale della Imprese di Disinfestestazione (ANID). Frances McKim, editor of UK Pest magazine filed this report for PCT.
PAESTUM, Italy — The theme of the recent pest conference in Italy was “Evolution of the pest control industry.” As Sergio Urizio, president of ANID, explained: “The conference falls into four, with each quarter reflecting a current trend – the evolution of quality, the evolution of products, the evolution of pests and their treatment, and finally the evolution of technicians.”
|International speakers - left to right: Patrick Vernie (Bayer), Nick Hamon Bayer), Rob Lederer (NPMA) and Rob Fryatt (CEPA). (Photo: Frances McKim)|
Reflecting these trends was a recurring international theme – the theme of the industry building global partnerships and working together in harmony on an international scale as was reflected in the line-up of the speakers – as these were drawn from the U.S., Scandinavia and the UK.
Leading with his rallying call of: “One world – one industry” was Rob Lederer, executive vice president of the National Pest Management Association. He pointed out that the detractors of our industry were well organized and worked on a global basis – just as the pest control industry should. “While 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 the world over,” said Lederer.
He went on to say: “We must move from a reactive to a proactive global industry.” Lederer 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 the European Pest Management Industry Association (CEPA) picked-up on this ‘green’ theme. “Organic production is now main-stream. Ethical and social issues are now 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 labeled,” Fryatt said.
|The two presidents. Gunnar Akërblom (left) from CEPA with ANID's Sergio Urizio. (Photo: Frances McKim)
Within Europe, Gunnar Akërblom, president of CEPA, summed-up the overall mission for CEPA, explaining it is: “To secure quality and growth of the European pest management industry. CEPA is your voice in Brussels.”
No-where is the voice of CEPA more in demand at the moment than with the legislators in Brussels. Despite all anticoagulant rodenticides having achieved dates for admission onto Annex 1, Jonathan Peck of the Killgerm Group detailed how the European Commission is now proposing to label all anticoagulants as teratogenic (toxic to reproduction) which would result in their use being banned throughout Europe. “It is essential to start consultations as soon as possible with government departments across Europe to ensure the specific needs of the public health pest control industry are taken into account,” said Peck.
Reflecting these themes, Nick Hamon from Bayer Environmental Science in the U.S., 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 and Melinda Gates Foundation.