CEPA – Your questions answered
This is the second interview with Henry Mott, President of CEPA and follows on from Part 1 which appears immediately before this one.
As in Part 1, this is something of a change of format.... Rather than our Talking Pest Management host, Daniel Schröer, asking the questions, this time the questions have been sent in by you, the listeners. There were so many it meant the interviews had to be split into two......
Questions have come from both members and also non-members of CEPA – the European pest management services trade association. The words below are simply a resumé...... listen to the discussion yourself to pick-up the full message.
The first question comes from Daniel himself and is maybe a provocative one. As President of CEPA, how much do you get paid? Henry makes it quite clear – nothing! Henry explains that if he were to work out what he contributes to his own company in time generating business, the role of president would cost him tens of thousands of Euros. Likewise, other members of the board and working groups undertake their roles voluntarily.
He explains how he wouldn’t be investing his time if he didn’t feel it brought benefit to him and the industry. “Be under no illusion,” he states, “if we as an industry didn’t do anything and let things take their course – legislation, the products, the methodology behind it, even the moral question about killing animals – there wouldn’t be much of an industry remaining.” It’s all about self-regulation. “Self regulation is the only way we are going to get the opinions of those within the EU to shift – to enable the industry to work in a practical manner. There is no status quo, things will change. Let’s make sure we are on the right side of change,” concludes Henry.
What is the MOU all about? What are its goals? Known as the MOU – this stands for the Memorandum of Understanding – it’s a document all stakeholders can sign saying you agree to the principles laid out within the Memorandum – it is not a contract. You sign-up to the statement that you will abide by the principles of integrated pest control and that you will operate as a professional pest management company. There is no hidden meaning. It’s important people sign this, if we as an industry, can’t sign an MOU saying this is what we do, that we want to self regulate and be professional at a national level, how can the industry go forward onto the international stage requesting support for our industry,” explains Henry.
Henry appeals to all stakeholders to ‘do their bit’ and sign-up to the MOU. He says if he can’t get a few thousand signatures he will feel he has failed. The industry will have failed too – it will end up with what it deserves – namely harder, faster and tighter regulations that will make our job even harder than it is perceived now. When pushed, he estimates there are only a ‘couple of hundred’ who have already signed-up. He has no patience with apathy.
Green badging, sustainability, digitisation – do these ‘buzz words’ go hand in hand with an industry that uses biocides? Although these techniques are used by many of the larger companies with words such as sustainability, prevention, digital ....found on their websites these innovations will not stand on their own. At the end of the day, pest control is a small expenditure for most clients, they are in effect buying the technician who is servicing their site in whom they have trust and respect who delivers what they want – namely a pest free environment. “People buy from people,” declares Henry.
As a final point, if you aren’t a member of CEPA don’t sit on the sidelines being critical, get involved. Henry invites anyone interested in finding out more to make contact with him and he will organise their inclusion, as a taster session, in any of the meetings.