Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests


Attended and exhibited at the 2013 CPMA convention put on last week here in Toronto, and I must admit it was a major improvement over some of the previous conferences.  There were only a few drawbacks, but on a scale of  1 to 10 would have to rate this as a solid 7.  Maybe close to an 8!  Maybe….

Gardex was there is force this year, with Sarah and Nigel manning the booth along with Karen and yours truly.

We also had some great support from Dave and Claude from B&G demo’ing the latest spraying equipment innovations.  Thanks guys!

Timing:  the only drawback here was being downtown at 4:30 on a Friday night.  Traffic is horrendous. Maybe run this from a Tuesday to a Thursday and be done with it.

Guest Speakers:  this was the biggest improvement over past years, with a wider variety, topics and interests outside the normal group of local “experts” re-hashing the same subjects.  I sat through several of the talks, which is unusual since I know everything, and found them really well put together.

The PMRA and MOE attended and spoke on various issues and it was good to see them take an interest.  We are in essence in the same industry, so hopefully more of a sense of cooperation will continue to develop.

Exhibitors:  good group overall, with a nice assortment of the suppliers supporting our business in Canada.

Venue:  the hotel was very nice, held at the Westin Harbour Castle (don’t know where the heck the “Castle” comes from) and for a downtown Toronto hotel was easy to get to.  The hotel’s staff was very accommodating, food services very good (and plenty available for all attendees)

But expensive, which is what you would expect for downtown Toronto.  $40.00 for valet parking???  Wow.

My biggest concern was where was everybody?????   There were several companies from across Canada that normally attend that weren’t there, plus the local attendance was spotty.  With the number of companies working the GTA, I would have thought to see at least another 40 or so represented.

Money?  Time?  Both?  The year we’re having?  Think it was a little bit of everything.

But it begs the question, is the numbers that attend important, or is the information provided important?

Money and our Market…why we pay the price

I was doing a small review of products available through the EPA registrations versus PMRA’s and the difference is a bit staggering.  I began to cuss under my breath that the government is the problem, but realized it is a combination of 3 factors that impedes the amount of tools we have available.

Yes, the PMRA requirements do play a part.  We’ve all argued about a roach in Buffalo being no different than a roach in Toronto.  Or certain data being re-generated.  But it’s a requirement of doing business in Canada.  Strike one.

But there is a secondary factor…our market is too small for some suppliers to invest in.  Simple.  If I have $100.00 to invest, the smallest ROI for that is probably the Canadian Pest Control Industry.  The Canadian canola market probably consumes $200,000,000 in pesticide revenues…why spend the money for a roach bait that may be $250,000?  Notice the zeroes???

So suppliers can meet the requirements, but the requirements are sometimes questionable, and expensive.  Strike two.

Lastly, do we as an industry really make our needs, wants and voices heard?  Curious how many sent a comment in on the boric acid review process?  Or have taken an active role in community education?  Or joined an association?  (more on the value of that later)

How about showing more support to new products and ideas?  Might be a way to enourage some new suppliers.

But the end result is the same…we don’t have the wealth of tools available to our counter-parts in the US.  Maybe we have to change our offering?  Partial control of a problem?  No guarantees?

“Sorry Ma’am, I only have the tools to kill 85% of your bed bugs today”

But does this now mean less revenue?  So you only charge 85%???

Strike three?