An air of optimism and dynamism was evident at the recent General Assembly of the Confederation of European Pest Control Associations (CEPA) held over two days (5 - 6 October 2006) in Dublin, Ireland.
Over 60 delegates attended from 14 countries representing all sectors of the European pest control industry. The Irish Pest Control Association, one of the most recently formed associations, hosted the meeting. Their president, Brendan Ryan gave a warm traditional Irish welcome saying: “One hundred thousand welcomes to you all.”
Traditionally annual meetings can be formal and full of protocol, but Robert Stuyt, the CEPA president, was having none of this. A clear illustration of the increased level of vigour within the Association.
Short and sharp presentations were given from each of the four specialist rapporteurs. An update on progress regarding legal affairs was given by Michael Römer, from DSV, Germany, in particular the significance of the draft European Services Directive. Sergio Urizio (ANID, Italy) who has responsibility for professional services raised the vexed question – is now the time to consider core training standards across Europe? Communication in all its forms is a key priority for CEPA and Richard Strand, now representing the Irish Association, sited the newly redesigned, and much visited CEPA website as an example of changes to come.
European market growth
Formal pest control market statistics within Europe has always been a neglected area. Responsibility for economic affairs rests with Milagros Fernandez de Lezeta from ANCEPLA, Spain. The air of optimism within the meeting was heightened when Milagros
revealed that the 2006 annual CEPA survey showed an increase of 8.2% to Euros 1,636 million in the European pest control market. This growth had arisen from the opening-up of several new markets and sectors, particularly the new EU accession states. On the downside, she reported prices for pest control work had fallen accompanied by an increasing social resistance to the use of pest control chemicals.
Looking to the future, CEPA president Robert Stuyt, concluded by saying: “CEPA intends to build upon this new outward facing and proactive focus. CEPA aims to be seen as an industry driver, not just an administrative operation. The appointment of Rob Fryatt, as CEPA Director General, has created a new and raised level of activity and interchange of ideas. We are engaging with new industry sectors, in particular with the international manufacturers and service companies. One of the key challenges which remains is the generation of funds to support these objectives.”
The meeting concluded with topical presentations from international industry experts including Rob Lederer, executive vice-president from NPMA in the USA.