Professional Pest Controller issue 92

30 August 2018

Beyond certification with East Coast Pest Control

Your association | PPC92 September 2018

When Andy Hunn, Managing Director of East Coast Pest Control, started his own business 16 years ago, it’d have been hard to imagine attending a global summit for pest management.

Meet the member East Coast Pest Control

We caught up with Andy after his European adventure so he could reflect on East Coast’s journey from start-up, to EN 133636 Certification, and beyond.

East Coast Pest Control is based in North Yorkshire in Hunmanby, an outlying area of Filey in the borough of Scarborough. Andy initially set up shop in October 2002 as a sole trader after working for a large company for a few years.

What makes East Coast what it is today?

From the beginning, our ethos has been:

  • To provide a first class service
  • To keep at the forefront of new innovations and procedures
  • Gain knowledge through training, qualifications and hands-on experience
  • And above all, to grow the company based on strong and continued client relationships. This has proved to be the key to our success and remains at the heart of everything that we do. 

To-date, we have six full-time and one part-time member of staff, and we’re actively seeking another person to join our team. Growth has been controlled and managed so that we don’t overstep ourselves. We want to continually provide the care that our clients deserve and have come to expect.

Our business values are quite simple: provide people with great service at a fair price. Be honest, open, and people will respect you.

I see too many people who have had bad experiences with pest controllers, either through the lack of knowledge/training or poor ethics. From the start, this was something that I
wanted to redress and will continue to do so.

We cover the whole spectrum of pest control from fumigation to the everyday rats and mice jobs. Pest prevention contracts are naturally our bread and butter, and we are very proud to say that we still have contracts that we started in the first month of trading 16 years ago.

Our business values are quite simple

This being a bumper bird issue, we’ve got to ask you about bird control. Does East Coast do any bird management?

We are currently undertaking a big project for a client where we are erecting a netting system covering some 9000m2 of net to provide protection from feral pigeons.

Previously we worked on a very clever netting system placed over a penguin enclosure. I was asked quite seriously while doing it if it was to stop the penguins from flying out! The reality was that it was to prevent other birds from entering and passing on avian flu.

The nice thing about this job was that we also considered the aesthetics of the surrounding buildings and managed to make the netting in such a way that it looks as if it was designed into the original build.

A lot of BPCA members are EN16636 Certified now, but you guys were some of the first to get the accreditation, and you were the only BPCA member that attended the Global Summit. Why are CEPA and EN16636 so important to East Coast?

We were only the thirtieth company in the UK to become EN16636 Certified, and I have always been a great believer in quality standards. When the EN16636 standard was first announced I naturally needed to look at what it had to offer us.

For many years I have sung the praises of BPCA and what it stands for. BPCA sets its members apart from the others in respect of auditing, staff qualifications, systems, etc – so CEPA had to be the next step.

We needed a European quality standard (Brexit or not). We need to have the confidence in our colleagues in other countries to manage pest issues to a competent level and to ensure that high standards are maintained in public health pest control. EN16636 sets those standards and as more companies sign up the industry’s quality rises.
We attended the recent Global Summit to see just how far CEPA and the EN16636 standard were progressing, not only in the UK but Europe-wide. The simple answer to this is that things are starting to gain momentum.

Reports from various delegates indicated that governments were starting to take notice of CEPA and the benefits that the EN16636 quality standard could bring. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also given CEPA the thumbs up. However, what was the food industries take on CEPA? Well when you have massive organisations such as Nestlé and Metro in attendance saying that this is the way forward, then you know that things are progressing in the right direction.

In my opinion, there is a minimum standard that we should all be aiming for. As an industry, we need to show the benefits of BPCA and EN16336. These are the standards that set us apart from others. They demonstrate that we’re investing in training, working systems and that we do actually care about what we do.

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