News & Insights


Stay informed with the latest MRL, Food Additive and Company news from around the world.

Specialty Crop Block Program now accepting proposals for Washington State
January 5, 2018

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has announced the beginning of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) application process for 2018.  There will be around $4.1 million available in total SCBGP grant funds, which will be allocated in ranges of $25,000 to $250,000 to chosen projects.  Initial concept proposals are due on February 5, 2018, after which full proposals for selected projects will be due on March 19.

Those eligible to apply include non-profit and for-profit organizations, public and private universities, and government organizations at the local, state, and federal level.  Although the program WSDA administers is Washington State-specific, applicants from outside the state are eligible to apply so long as their proposed project will benefit the specialty crop growers of Washington.  Grant funds may be used for a range of purposes including research, technological innovation, training and education, and marketing.  Specialty crops are defined in the Farm Bill as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried nuts, horticulture, and nursery crops.  If you are uncertain whether your product is a specialty crop, you can find a list of them here.

Bryant Christie Inc. has successfully assisted a range of clients with SCBGP applications and program implementation in the past.  BCI has previously worked on SCBGP projects related to industries including wine, hops, pistachios, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, and canned fruits.  If you would like to learn more about how BCI can assist you with the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, please contact us at (206) 292-6340 or at

Matt Lantz Participates in US-China Agriculture Negotiations
December 6, 2017
Matt Lantz, traveled to Sanya, Hainan Island, China to participate in the 25th US-China Plant Health Negotiations.


From December 3-6, BCI's Vice President for Global Access, Matt Lantz, traveled to Sanya, Hainan Island, China to participate in the 25th US-China Plant Health Negotiations. These talks bring USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service members together with their Chinese counterparts, AQSIQ, to discuss opening each other's markets for new fresh products. Discussions are based on quarantine concerns and proposed mitigation measures.  

Matt traveled to Sanya representing several fruit and vegetable commodities seeking market access to China. This is the 12th such US-China bilateral talks in which Matt has participated.  

Photo:  Matt Lantz with AQSIQ officials at 25th US-China Bilateral Plant Health Negotiations.

Alissa Chevallier
December 5, 2017

Alissa Chevallier joined Bryant Christie in November of 2017 as a member of the firm’s international marketing group. Alissa participates in the writing and administration of grants related to the United States Department of Agriculture export assistance programs. She also works with clients to implement their organization’s promotional activities. Her responsibilities also include strategic planning, project management, and financial management.

Prior to joining BCI, Alissa studied and worked in the wine industry in France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, and Chile. She worked in production and marketing in small and large wineries, and conducted scientific research on the chemical composition of wine. 

Alissa graduated with honors from Haverford College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry.  She holds a Master of Science in Wine Marketing, Viticulture, and Enology from the Ecole Superieure d’Agriculture in Angers, France.  In addition, she has a Master of Philosophy in the History of Science from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  She is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish.

Dr. SaMi Lee from Korea Visits BCI
November 30, 2017


On November 30, 2017, Dr. SaMi Lee, Bayer CropScience's Asia-Pacific Trade Flow and Regulatory Policy Manager visited Bryant Christie Inc.'s Seattle offices to discuss pesticide regulatory issues throughout the Asia Pacific region. 

Dr. Lee is an expert on the current Korean government transition to a positive maximum residue level (MRL) system, which is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2019.   She is also working on crop protection and MRL issues throughout the region.  

BCI and Dr. Lee discussed Bayer Crop Protection products in Korea during the transition and MRL policies in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and throughout Southeast Asia.

Alinne Oliveira Joins BCI
November 30, 2017

Alinne B. Oliveira joined Bryant Christie Inc. in November 2017 as a Trade Policy Specialist. As part of the Global Access team, she works to open foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities, monitors trade policy issues, and supports BCI’s MRL monitoring systems.

Prior to joining BCI, Alinne served as Head of the International Relations department for the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), an organization that represents over two million farmers in Brazil. At CNA, she was responsible for advising the president on international and trade policy matters, developing advocacy strategies, and leading the work of seven international specialists as well as offices in Brussels and Beijing.  She also worked as International Negotiations Specialist for the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry (CNI), and for the Brazil Industries Coalition, in Washington D.C., as a registered lobbyist representing the Brazilian private sector interests in the United States. She has experience volunteering and working in multiple countries and cultures.

Alinne is a Project Management Professional (PMP), earned a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, an executive certificate in Mastering Trade Policy from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Central Florida.

BCI attends 68th annual PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo
November 3, 2017

On October 19-21, James Christie and Sarah Gelpi Hooker attended the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.  At this event, BCI met with international attendees, industry associations, and in-country representatives on behalf of clients and discussed current global marketing trends and plans for the coming year.

Attended by over 19,000 industry professionals representing over 60 countries, the annual PMA Fresh Summit convention is the largest trade show of its kind in the United States.  Each year, industry professionals gather at this event to introduce new products and meet with experts, leaders and decision makers from every link of the supply chain. 

In 2018, the PMA Fresh Summit will be held in Orlando, Florida from October 18-20.

BCI leads China and India reverse trade mission during the Wisconsin cranberry harvest
November 3, 2017

From October 25-28, BCI International Marketing Account Managers Alyson Segawa and Sarah Gelpi Hooker hosted a delegation of Chinese and Indian media and trade on a reverse trade mission on behalf of the Cranberry Marketing Committee.  The primary objectives of this trade mission were to highlight the versatility and health benefits of U.S. cranberries, as well as to provide Chinese and Indian trade and media with a firsthand look at the Wisconsin cranberry harvest and processing facilities. 

Attendees were given presentations on the U.S. cranberry industry and cranberry health benefits and were able to wade in a cranberry marsh during an industry facility visit.  The event received positive coverage from Wisconsin media on television (WKBT and WXOW) as well as online (Wisconsin Ag Connection and  Wisconsin State Farmer).

Matt Lantz Meets with European Officials on MRLs
October 23, 2017


Matt Lantz, BCI's Vice President for Global Access, met with officials from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority, the US Mission to the European Union, and with Bayer Crop Science to discuss the most recent European Union policies on crop protection products and how they might affect exports of US commodities to the EU. The EU is undertaking substantial changes to its pesticide regulatory policies that differ greatly from US standards, which may restrict the ability of crops to access the European market.   Meetings were held in Brussels, Belgium and Monheim, Germany. 

While in Brussels, Matt participated in a two day conference on maximum residue levels (MRLs) sponsored by the European Crop Protection Association.  BCI manages, which maintains the MRL information for over 100 markets.  Bryant Christie Inc. will continue to work with the US government, registrants, and commodity groups to ensure that products exported to the EU are safe for EU consumers and that trade is not affected by differing regulatory systems.

Photo:  Matt Lantz with officials from the Minor Crop Farmers Alliance at Bayer CropScience in Monheim, Germany.

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant for 2017-18
October 16, 2017

On August 29, the USDA officially announced that applications are being accepted for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) for 2017-18.  This year’s program has approximately $18 million in funding available to independent agricultural producers and producer cooperatives.  Deadlines for submission are January 31, 2018 for paper applications, and January 24, 2018 for online applications.

The VAPG program is designed to assist independent farmers, ranchers, and producer-based businesses in activities related to the marketing, development, and processing of value-added agricultural products.  Grants will be awarded for projects in either planning or working capital capacities, in increments of up to $75,000 and $250,000, respectively.

Bryant Christie Inc. has successfully assisted a range of clients with VAPG applications and program implementation in the past.  Some examples of VAPG projects that BCI has previously worked on include the international promotion of wine, hops, cranberries, dairy products, and canned fruits.  If you would like to learn more about how BCI can assist you with the Value-Added Producer Grant, please contact us at (206) 292-6340 or at

BCI Attends Global Minor Use Summit 3
October 16, 2017

In early October, Bryant Christie Inc. staff members Matt Lantz, Kimberly Berry, and Ann Stevenson attended the third Global Minor Use Summit in Montreal, Canada. This meeting occurs once every five years to discuss how crop protection products can be more broadly available to growers of specialty crops around the world.

Participants from over 30 countries participated in the meeting. Matt, Kimberly, and Ann met with foreign government officials, registrants, and grower groups, and also made presentations and ran break out groups. There was significant discussion of BCI's GlobalMRL database and making it more widely available to the developing world.

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