Groquifar, the Portuguese national association has been fully supportive of CEPA Certified, the new European standard for Pest Management services from the very beginning.
After the European CEN standard EN16636 and its CEPA Certified® auditing protocol were launched in March 2015, Groquifar was invited by the National Quality Institute [Instituto Português da Qualidade], which is a Member of CEN, to organise and manage the working committee tasked with creating the Portuguese version of the standard.
This Committee, CT 198, brought together both governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as big and small pest management companies and all the relevant Health, Environmental, Scientific, Food, Certification and Professional Qualification organisations.
It was the first time that all the significant players of the public health and food industry sectors were seated at the same table, working for a common cause.
In November 2015, benefitting from this positive climate of collaboration, Groquifar officially launched EN16636 and its CEPA Certified auditing protocol at the biggest Portuguese Food Safety Show in Lisbon (Business to Consumer and Business to Business).
The first Certification Body in Portugal to be accredited and trained was Bureau Veritas Certification. All in all 15 auditors have been trained and more training sessions are to follow shortly. Today Groquifar works with 4 CEPA Certified endorsed CBs to service the Portuguese market. Collectively they have successfully certified 18 Portuguese pest management companies. This represents approximately 7% of the Pest Management companies operating in Portugal today. Not a bad result in just over a year for a small European country!
As soon as some of Groquifar’s members were successfully certified a CEPA Certified workshop event was organised during which the first two certified pest management companies in Portugal were invited to share their experiences. Last October, at Groquifar’s National Convention, in which almost 300 delegates participated, EN16636/CEPA Certified was starring once more. This time in a much applauded presentation by Ricardo Ferro, Executive Director of Bureau Veritas Certification Portugal.
In early 2017 a still bigger event will be scheduled in collaboration with the Portuguese Quality Association (APQ) the main objective of which is to reach clients of Pest Management companies whilst creating awareness and recognition for EN16636/CEPA Certified. To this event Groquifar will invite the national Restaurant and Hotel associations, relevant government authorities, local authorities, industry, universities and the Portuguese National Standards Institute.
Groquifar is looking forward to exchanging ideas and experiences with its European counterparts to further contribute to the success of this launch. Please contact our Secretariat if you think you can contribute a learning experience that will benefit all.
Catarina Carvalho: email@example.com
+351 912 569 290
Photo: Portuguese government representatives and Groquifar debating the merits of EN16636/CEPA Certified, the new Professional Pest Management Service standard, at the National Launch event in Lisbon last November.