AEPMA president Vasili Tsoutouras provides an update on the current state of the industry. 

As the ‘busy season’ comes to an abrupt end for most of us in our industry, some of the real foundation type work begins – product trials, procedure reviews, training and a whole lot of catching up on paperwork! At the AEPMA national office the push to put the final touches on the FAOPMA Conference are in full swing. Along with all the state AGMs that have been taking place, there has been the judging of the Pest Manager of the Year and feverish work on various Codes of Practice.

The FAOPMA Conference marketing is about to heat up as the date looms near. The numbers are growing which is exciting, with more than 100 international delegates already committed and our local delegates growing by the day. Getting in now just makes sense – there are early bird rates for your delegate pass and a chance to get a great deal on travel and accommodation costs. I, for one, cannot wait to catch up with some friends and meet some new ones too.

The state AGMs are done and dusted, with great participation at all state branches. Some new and committed faces have joined the long-term steady hands at all levels and there is a good mix between representatives from small, medium and larger pest management businesses. This is a great result and underlines the health and passion that is within our industry. The next major calendar event is the National Annual General Meeting, to be held by conference call on 29th of June at 8am AEST.

Once again I had the pleasure of being a judge for the Pest Manager of the Year awards which, as always, was a very rewarding experience. This year the experience was elevated to a new level with two new judges being involved, one of who was Pania Gregson, formerly from Pestec (last years winner of the award). Having the insight of a previous contestant was sensational and really took the process to a new level. As always, the nominees were of a high level and listening to them and reading their submissions really energised me within my own business and our efforts within AEPMA.

I am looking forward to seeing all the nominees at the conference this year and watching them being recognised at the gala dinner. After the judging had been completed, we met for a debrief and planning session on how the awards will evolve into the future.

I look forward to talking about this more in the not too distant future.

The Codes of Practices working groups continue to work hard, with a meeting every month using video conferencing. We have also engaged a professional editor to polish the documents after they have been completed by the working parties and received industry comment, ready for release and public comment at the conference. Having these documents is crucial as evidenced by the release of the Coles Supply Chain Pest Control Requirements document, that they have passed on to all of their suppliers, calling on them to ensure that any pest control company they use is a member and follows best practice.

We have penciled in a business planning meeting after the conference has been completed, for the board to complete a new five year plan for the association – the current plan will expire at the end of the year, with all of the objectives and goals met. We have some new initiatives in development that will be key in this planning and some new goals around some of our long-term objectives. We look forward to sharing the business plan with you once completed. In the meantime should have any suggestions, please let us know at the conference, when we look forward to your feedback.

Until next time, I wish you all the best with your business.

Vasili Tsoutouras,
AEPMA President

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