Over 140 delegates representing 17 countries from across Europe packed into the Holiday Inn in Rome, Italy on 2 - 3 April 2008. They were gathered at the inaugural Europest event organised by CEPA (the European Pest Management Industry Association). A selection of international speakers addressed key management issues facing the pest control industry, not the least of which was how the global pest control market is developing.
The Rome Protocol
A prime objective for CEPA is to develop professionalism and training throughout Europe. To this end Sergio Urizio from ANID – the Italian Pest Control Association – outlined the objectives contained within what is to be known as ‘The Rome Protocol’. This document, having gained acceptance from all CEPA member organisations and companies, outlines the standards of professionalism demanded of its members – these cover training, product use and a commitment to customers. At the General Assembly held immediately following Europest, CEPA voted to request compliance of the Rome Protocol to be mandatory for members of all its European national associations – an action which will go far to raise the image of this industry with the European Commission.
The next step is for all national associations to endorse the content of the Rome Protocol – an action very quickly achieved by the Polish Pest Control Association who confirmed their commitment only days later at their inaugural ConExPest 2008 exhibition and conference.
Growth in the worldwide non-crop market
Rod Parker from AIS in London, UK presented data collected from 25 countries equating to 70% of the world for non-crop (in other words non-agricultural) market for pesticides. His research estimated that this non-crop sector has grown at product level from €4.1 billion in 1992 to €12.7 billion in 2006. Despite some considerable debate at the event, these figures do show a growth in value terms of the non-crop market from 27% in 1992 of the total global pesticide market to 57% in 2005. Mr Parker estimates that 17% of this non-crop market falls within Europe with insecticides accounting for over half the global market value, whereas rodenticides account for a mere 4%.
Closer to home, the pest control market within Europe was addressed by Milagros Fernandez de Lezeta from ANECPLA – the Spanish Pest Control Association. In brief, the latest CEPA market survey of the European pest control market at service level is worth €2.2 billion, consists of 9,000 pest control companies and employs over 38,000 people.
Emerging markets – China and Poland
Two fascinating presentations on emerging markets followed. Yet both had a common theme – the development of a private pest control servicing industry following the liberalisation of their market regimes. The first was delivered by Pascal Cai who represents the China Pest Control Association. Like virtually all Chinese industries, pest control is on an exponential growth curve. The figures are quite staggering – a population of 1.3 billion (twice that of the entire European Union), Gross Domestic Product equal to that of the USA and an annual growth rate of 10%.
The second presentation covered Poland. Presented by Adam Puscinski, Vice President of the Polish Pest Control Association. With their market now liberalised, privately owned, often one-man, pest control companies have rapidly grown. As an Association, one of its main objectives now is to provide appropriate training and work towards some form of certification scheme. A theme echoed throughout Europe.
Women in pest control – an undervalued resource
Another ‘new’ facet of the pest control industry was also explored – that of the role of women. The session was led by Marie-Claire Boscq, President of CS3D, the French National Association. Going back to the Middle Ages it was questioned if women even had souls, but much has changed since then with some of the world’s leading scientists having been women, for example Marie Curie. Madame Boscq concluded that to develop, the industry must recruit appropriately skilled labour be they male or female.
In fact there are situations, such as with domestic pest control work, where employing a female technician is actually advantageous, as detailed by Martina Flynn representing the British Pest Control Association. Valentina Santi of servicing company SIDDA in Italy explained how she had fared as their company’s technical advisor in a predominantly male world, whereas Lorenza Brazzoduro of manufacturing company INDIA from Italy detailed how her company was predominantly managed by women.
After the success of this meeting, the next CEPA organised event will be the second European Pest Management Day to be held on 27 & 28 November 2008 in Brussels, Belgium.