News & Insights


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

Jakob Hofso Joins BCI
October 16, 2018

Jakob Hofso joined Bryant Christie Inc. in September 2018 as an International Marketing Assistant. He assists members of the marketing team in the preparation of export strategies, market research, client communications, and grant writing related to USDA export assistance programs.

Jakob graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Economics and a minor in English. He also speaks Spanish. Before joining Bryant Christie, Jakob worked as an intern for a regional economic development group.

BCI Attends the Women in Agribusiness Summit
October 5, 2018

Last week Sarah Gelpi Hooker, a BCI marketing business unit team-member, attended the Women in Agribusiness Summit in Denver, Colorado.  This annual event brings together women from across the U.S. to discuss a wide range of issues affecting U.S. agriculture and women in particular.  This year’s event drew more than 750 attendees from over 40 states and included executives, marketers, producers, and researchers, among others. 

At the summit, Sarah attended sessions on international trade, marketing strategy, and innovations in agriculture—all with an eye towards developments in the sector with the potential to affect BCI clients.  Overall, the three-day event provided BCI with an excellent opportunity to share with and learn from women leaders in the agricultural community.

BCI Works on U.S. NGO Registration in China
October 2, 2018


James C. Christie met with USDA/FAS Administrator Isley and a group of FAS officials and cooperators in Hong Kong earlier this month.  Topics during this discussion included tariffs, non-governmental organization (NGO) registration, and doing business in China.

Later in September, James then traveled to Shanghai and Beijing to further efforts towards an NGO registration for one of BCI’s clients. It is a cumbersome process that can take months and requires active management thereafter.  “While I don’t believe agricultural and food marketing efforts are the primary target of the law,” James said, “The Chinese government is actively pursuing registration of all foreign NGOs operating in China.”

The Foreign NGO Law came into effect in China in January 2017.  It mandates that foreign NGOs must register with China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) or its provincial level equivalent before conducting activities within mainland China. If a foreign NGO wishes to carry out single activities in the market, it can file for a temporary activity permit, but even this process can be difficult and time consuming.  In both cases, foreign NGOs must coordinate with a domestic Chinese organization in addition to the MPS.

According to the law, foreign NGOs are permitted to work in economics, education, science, culture, health, sports, environmental protection, poverty, and disaster relief but “must not endanger China’s national unity, security, or ethnic unity; and must not harm China’s national interests, societal public interest,” or engage in or fund for-profit, political, or religious activities. 

Please contact Bryant Christie Inc. for more information.

James C. Christie Attends AsiaFruit Congress in Hong Kong
October 2, 2018

BCI President James C. Christie attended the Asia Fruit Logistica exhibition in Hong Kong on September 3, 2018.  While there, he spoke with U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service officials regarding issues that affect BCI’s agricultural clients, including tariffs, marketing, and non-governmental organization (NGO) registration in China.

Asia Fruit Logistica is a leading trade show for the international fresh fruit and vegetable business. The show and associated AsiaFruit Congress is held annually in September and is considered the gateway to the Hong Kong market as well as the rest of Asia.

Matt Lantz Speaks to Kenyan Farmers in Nairobi
September 18, 2018


On Wednesday, September 5,  BCI's Vice President for Global Access addressed the Kenyan Fruit, Vegetable, and Herb Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.  Matt was asked to speak to Kenyan farmers about exporting and how to comply with international food safety requirements in foreign markets.   He also participated in several panel discussions during the meeting. 

While in Kenya, Matt had to opportunity to hold discussions with the East African Community, USAID, and USDA regarding Bryant Christie Inc.'s BCGlobal MRL databases and opportunities to provide the governments and growers in the region the important regulatory information the databases contain within.

Photo: Matt Lantz at the Kenyan School of Monetary Studies, location of the Kenyan Fruit, Vegetable, and Herb Conference in Nairobi.

BCI Attends
September 12, 2018


On August 23, Sarah Gelpi and Pam Araoz—members of BCI’s marketing team—attended a mixer hosted by the NorCal World Trade Center through their International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP).  This program, which is a partnership with the U.S. State Department, plans short-term visits to the United States for foreign leaders to exchange cutting-edge information with their professional counterparts, experience local culture, and cultivate relationships with U.S. citizens.  

The “Women Changing the World” mixer allowed BCI staff to network with women from Northern California, as well as to meet with women leaders from the municipal, state, and federal levels of government of Nepal.  BCI is appreciative of opportunities like this, that encourage communication with members of the local international trade community.

Matt Lantz Speaks at American Chemical Society Conference
August 20, 2018


On Sunday, August 19, 2018, BCI's Vice President for Global Access spoke at the American Chemical Society conference in Boston.  Matt Lantz spoke on EU pesticide maximum residue level (MRL) policies and how they are liked to affect trade to the European Union in the coming years. 

The EU is poised on November 10 to enact new regulations that may result in the removal of many MRLs.  This will hinder the ability of shippers from around the world to export to the market.  Matt highlighted how regions around the world might be affected and noted specific concerns that US growers and shippers have with the new EU policies. 

BCI Staff Tour California Fruit Packing Operation
August 6, 2018


During the first week of August, members of BCI’s trade policy and marketing teams visited a California cherry, apple, and walnut packing shed.  James Christie (BCI President), Will Callis (Marketing Account Manager), Sarah Gelpi (Marketing Account Manager), and Adam Hollowell (Trade Policy Specialist), witnessed the packer’s California apple and walnut lines in action, and discussed the testing and protocols in place to ensure high-quality and smooth shipments into international markets.  The group also discussed the recently concluded California cherry season, and marketing and trade policy priorities of the industry. 

BCI works closely with the California Cherry Board on its international program, including on export market development and trade policy and phytosanitary issues.

Michael Bowen Joins BCI's Technology Team
July 20, 2018


Michael Bowen joined Bryant Christie Inc. in 2018 as a Front-End Web Application Developer.  He is responsible for maintaining and enhancing BCI’s online systems and helping to create new initiatives and client applications.  This includes customized applications and the BCGlobal product line.

Prior to joining the firm, Michael worked for Microsoft as a Web Developer III.  In that role he developed web applications that helped manage data for Xbox.  Before that he was a Software Development Engineer at iSoftStone North America, where he developed POS and employee management systems for resorts across the western US.

Michael is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts in English.  He also holds a certificate in full stack JavaScript development from Code Fellows.

Ola Wietecha Joins BCI's Marketing Team
July 20, 2018


Ola Wietecha joined Bryant Christie in April of 2018 as a member of the firm’s international marketing group. Ola participates in writing and administering 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 Bryant Christie, Ola spent two years as a reporter covering the seafood industry, focusing on market trends, international marketing activities and technological developments in aquaculture, among other topics.

Ola graduated from Seattle’s University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in French. She gained proficiency in the French language during her time studying in Montpellier and during her year teaching in Grenoble. She is also fluent in Polish.

All News Tags