Back in 2014, it came to PMATT’s attention that the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) had formed a drafting committee to develop standards for pesticide applicators without notifying or inviting the Association and its members to be part of the process.
After strong objection to the then Executive Director, PMATT was finally granted a seat on the committee, which at that point had completed their work. However, upon examination of the standards that had been drafted, although named ‘Pest Control Operators – General Requirements for Services’, it was painfully obvious that it was standards for agricultural applicators and would have been completely inappropriate and overly burdensome for the urban pest management industry. As a result, the Association was able to rally together fifteen pest management companies, writing to the Bureau bringing a halt to the process and averting what would have been a disaster for pest control operators. Due to this action, we were invited to discussions with the Bureau, at which the then Head of the Standardisation Division readily acknowledged both the oversight committed by omitting PMATT from representation on the Committee and also of our request for a Code of Practice for pest management professionals, promising us heavy representation on a committee for that purpose. Since that time to the present, no further work has been done on these standards.
We recently corresponded with the new Executive Director of the Bureau, Mr. Derek Luk Pat, once again expressing PMATT’s desire to collaborate in the development of standards, wherever relevant to our industry. The Executive Director acknowledged receipt of our letter and has subsequently kindly extended an invitation to PMATT to participate on a number of drafting committees over the next two to three years.
- At a national level, there will be local standards for the pest management industry under the National Standardization Strategy (NSS).
- Regionally, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), has the mandate to harmonise regional standards and the TTBS as a member of CROSQ participates in the development of regional standards.
- The TTBS has invited PMATT to participate on the Regional Technical Committee for the labelling of pesticides.
- The TTBS has invited PMATT to participate on the National Mirror Committee (NMC), which will provide feedback to CROSQ for the regional standards development process, in the drafting of standards for integrated pest management for the tourism industry.
PMATT eagerly looks forward to these projects and will be reaching out to its members for their suggestions and for volunteers to serve on the above-mentioned committees.
This is a shining example of what can be achieved when we stand together as a unified industry body.