Company News

August 6, 2018

BCI Staff Tour California Fruit Packing Operation

Company News August 6, 2018

BCI Staff Tour California Fruit Packing Operation
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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.

July 20, 2018

Michael Bowen Joins BCI's Technology Team

Company News July 20, 2018

Michael Bowen Joins BCI's Technology Team
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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.

July 20, 2018

Ola Wietecha Joins BCI's Marketing Team

Company News July 20, 2018

Ola Wietecha Joins BCI's Marketing Team
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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.

July 17, 2018

Matt Lantz Presents at World Trade Organization

Company News July 17, 2018

Matt Lantz Presents at World Trade Organization
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On July 11, Matt Lantz, BCI's Vice President for Market Access, spoke at the World Trade Organization in Geneva  on the potential impact European pesticide regulatory policies may have on agriculture exports to the Community.  Drawing from a report Bryant Christie Inc. produced in October 2017, Lantz explained that up to 64% of agriculture exports to the EU could be affected.  While all regions of the world are likely to feel an impact from the EU policies, Central and South America and Sub Saharan Africa are the most likely to face challenges

The meeting, sponsored by the US and Canadian governments, brought together officials from numerous countries to discuss EU pesticide maximum residue level (MRLs) policies in international trade. 

June 28, 2018

Ann Stevenson Participates in Exchange Program on MRLs in China

Company News June 28, 2018

Ann Stevenson Participates in Exchange Program on MRLs in China
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On June 8-17, Ann Stevenson traveled to Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai, China as part of a Scientific Cooperation Exchange Program (SCEP) on pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs). SCEP is a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) program that facilitates the exchange of scientific and technical expertise between the US and China.

This is the first SCEP focused specifically on pesticide residues. It was led by Mayra Caldera from FAS and included Dr. Wayne Jiang from the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4) Project and Dr. Loren LaPointe from FAS. While in China, the team visited the Ministry of Agriculture Institute Control of Agrochemicals (ICAMA), the US Embassy, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, and several local farms and agricultural facilities.

An open dialogue on MRLs between the two countries is especially important right now because China is in the process of expanding their national MRL legislation. Updates to this standard affect US industry exporting to and sourcing food from China.

 

Photo: SCEP team touring residue field trials on rice crops at Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences facility in Nanjing. From left to right: Loren LaPointe, Wayne Jiang, Mayra Caldera, Ann Stevenson, and Wenbo Duan.

June 18, 2018

BCX Group Visits Trident Seafood

Company News June 18, 2018

BCX Group Visits Trident Seafood
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On June 13, members of BCI’s data services (Jeffery Mitchell, Karlee Kirking, Liz Cady, Maclyn Curley), marketing (Alissa Chevallier, David McCaleb), and research (Jack Callahan) business units toured Trident Seafoods’ Pier 91 plant and innovation center.  In addition, the group met with representatives from Trident’s global sales, regulatory, and research and development teams to learn more about the company’s story, the successes it has had in international markets, and the challenges it faces with exporting a wide range of seafood products around the world. 

Across the board, the visit was eye-opening for BCI participants as it provided real-world context for the day-to-day work that goes into the firm’s BCGlobal portal (http://www.bcglobalportal.com/) and other regulatory intelligence, research, and marketing products.  This visit was arranged as part of the firm’s BCXplore (BCX) program, which supports leadership development and team building at BCI. 

Thanks to Trident Seafoods for hosting our group!

June 18, 2018

BCI Participates in San Francisco MRL Workshop

Company News June 18, 2018

BCI Participates in San Francisco MRL Workshop
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Five staff members from Bryant Christie Inc. attended the San Francisco Pesticide Maximum Residue Workshop on May 30 and 31.  The annual meeting brings together government regulators, registrants, agricultural groups, and companies to discuss one of the most challenging issues in international agriculture trade: harmonizing international pesticide residue standards so exports are not affected.      

BCI staff presented on the following topics:

  • President James Christie noted the importance of managing the challenges of international MRL issues and avoiding trade disruptions for agriculture. 
  • Vice President for Global Access, Matt Lantz, moderated the first morning and gave a presentation on early notification to changes in European MRL standards. 
  • Director for Data Services, Kimberly Berry, presented on effectively using BCI’s Global MRL Database host at www.globalmrl.com.

Alinne Oliveira, who just returned from MRL meetings in Brazil, and Ann Stevenson, who is heading to China in two weeks to discuss Chinese MRL policies, also attended the Workshop.

May 10, 2018

David McCaleb Speaks at Craft Brewers Conference

Company News May 10, 2018

David McCaleb Speaks at Craft Brewers Conference
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On April 30-May 3, Eric Rosenberg and David McCaleb attended the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. 

During the show, David participated on a panel discussion for the Brewers Association’s Export Development Program (EDP).  Along with representatives from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, David spoke about international compliance issues and challenges when exporting beer. 

Nearly 150 brewers and importers attended the panel discussion, and their engagement demonstrated the growing interest in export opportunities among the U.S. craft brewing community. 

May 7, 2018

Tye Blazey speaks at the North American Meat Institute Summit

Company News May 7, 2018

Tye Blazey speaks at the North American Meat Institute Summit
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On April 18th, BCI's Director of Sales and Marketing presented at the North American Meat Institute’s (NAMI) Annual Meeting.   This annual event brings together executives across the industry for educational programs on labor and employment issues, regulatory issues, and public affairs. 

The presentation was a part of the International Affairs Committee meeting and focused on the impact of veterinary drug residue levels on global trade.  Tye’s talk was followed by presentations from Gregg Doud, Chief Agriculture Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Ted McKinney, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. 

May 4, 2018

Photo shoot and recipe development for California olives

Company News May 4, 2018

Photo shoot and recipe development for California olives
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On May 3, BCI Marketing Business Unit members Sarah Gelpi Hooker and Catherine Nguyen attended the California Olive Committee (COC)’s international recipe photo shoot.  At the photo shoot, Sarah and Catherine witnessed the professional photography process that goes into creating every COC recipe photo. 

In addition, they learned more about the recipe development process from COC’s chef partner, who incorporated California ripe olives into Japanese and Chinese dishes.  Each COC recipe was created to enhance traditional flavors while highlighting the utility and versatility of California ripe olives. 

BCI works with the California Olive Committee on a range of international market development efforts to expand California ripe olive exports.

May 1, 2018

Matt Lantz Meets with Korean Government on MRL Issues

Company News May 1, 2018

Matt Lantz Meets with Korean Government on MRL Issues
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On April 16th, BCI's Vice President for Global Access met with officials from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) to discuss the upcoming Korean transition to a positive pesticide maximum residue level (MRL) list on January 1, 2019.  Korea is the latest in a string of countries to establish a national list.

BCI is working on behalf of its clients to encourage the setting of MRLs at levels harmonized to US or international Codex standards to avoid potential trade disruptions.  While meeting with MFDS, Matt Lantz suggested several options to consider to ensure that trade is not affected by the upcoming change. The meeting was productive.  While in Korea, Matt also met with registrants to learn the latest on submissions to MFDS to set MRLs by the end of the year. 

 

Photo: Matt Lantz at the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in Korea.

 

May 1, 2018

BCI staff volunteer with IRC Women’s Empowerment Workshop

Company News May 1, 2018

BCI staff volunteer with IRC Women’s Empowerment Workshop
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On Saturday April 28, BCI-Sacramento staff Pam Araoz and Sarah Gelpi Hooker volunteered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) at a Women’s Empowerment workshop.  The IRC assists people across the globe who have been affected by various humanitarian crises, including conflict and natural disasters. 

At the workshop, Pam and Sarah assisted in providing financial literacy training to women recently resettled under Special Immigrant Visa status from Afghanistan and Iran.  This included reviewing U.S. currency (how to use coins and bills in their daily life) as well as how to assess their families’ needs vs. wants, and how to make a monthly budget.  These are important tools as they strive for self-sufficiency and to establish themselves here in the U.S.  More generally, these workshops serve the purpose of empowering women to engage themselves in their families’ affairs and to set goals for their lives (careers, learning English, etc.).

April 27, 2018

BCI Works to Increase Specialty Crop Imports in Tokyo

Company News April 27, 2018

BCI Works to Increase Specialty Crop Imports in Tokyo
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From April 15-21, 2018, James Christie, BCI President, and Sarah Gelpi Hooker, BCI Marketing Account Manager, traveled to Tokyo, Japan on behalf of the California Cherry Board (CCB) and California Blueberry Commission (CBC). 

The purpose of this visit was to meet with major importers of California cherries and blueberries, as well as key retailers, to discuss CCB and CBC’s joint California Grown promotions in Japan funded by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.  BCI is managing this initiative for the California cherry and blueberry industries with the goal of increasing exports to this important market.

 Pictured: James Christie, Sarah Gelpi, and Todd Sanders (Director of Trade and Technical Affairs, California Blueberry Commission)

April 16, 2018

BCI Staff Attend US-UK Trade Panel Discussion

Company News April 16, 2018

BCI Staff Attend US-UK Trade Panel Discussion
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On April 11, Alissa Chevallier and Dexter Leland of BCI's international marketing team attended a moderated Q&A discussion with UK Secretary of State, Liam Fox.  The event was hosted by the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT) at the Columbia Tower in Seattle, Washington.  The discussion covered topics ranging from US-UK trade and investment, to free-trade agreement negotiations, to the future of Brexit, and other trade issues.

Attending events like these keeps BCI aware of the trade challenges and opportunities that are present in key foreign markets, and ultimately helps BCI increase the export success of its clients.

April 11, 2018

BCI Coauthors MRL Article in the British Food Journal

Company News April 11, 2018

BCI Coauthors MRL Article in the British Food Journal
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BCI's Vice President for Global Access, Matt Lantz, and former staffer, Alyse McConnell, joined three Canadian authors to publish a recent article in the British Food Journal entitled: "Declining Harmonization in Maximum Residue Levels for Pesticides."  The article appears in Vol. 120 Issue: 4, pp. 901-903. The article explores how pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs) are being established at differing levels in countries around the world and the implications of that for food security and international trade.

The abstract for the article states:

Purpose

Maximum residual limits (MRLs) for pesticides are based on science. This is true both for MRLs devised by national governments and multilaterally through the Codex. Science-based Codex MRLs are internationally harmonized to facilitate trade. Since the 1990s, an increasing number of countries have devised national MRLs and eschewed those of the Codex. These differing national standards are becoming important barriers to trade. The purpose of this paper is to explore the ramifications of these diverging MRLs for food security, investigate the reasons for the rise of national standards, and explore the role of science in regulatory processes.

Design/methodolodogy/approach

The approach is an examination of the scientific basis for MRLs in the context of food safety  outcomes.

Findings

It finds that there is no improvement in food safety from the move to national MRLs, only a loss of the benefits of trade. As all countries, along with the Codex, claim that their MRLs are based on science, suggesting that there is a need for an examination of the role of science in the making of public policy.

Originality/value

This study identifies a potential risk to food security for food policy makers. Given future food security challenges and that pesticides are used almost universally in conventional agriculture, trade barriers based on divergent interpretations of science need to be addressed by food policy makers.

To purchase the article, please visit Emeraldinsight.com

April 11, 2018

BCI Visits Vietnam and Thailand on Market Development Effort

Company News April 11, 2018

BCI Visits Vietnam and Thailand on Market Development Effort
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BCI President James Christie visited Vietnam and Thailand in March to investigate market opportunities for U.S. agricultural exporters.  He was accompanied by a group of fresh fruit exporters from California.  The group met with importers and retailers along with U.S. government officials in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Bangkok. 

During meetings with the U.S. officials, James took the opportunity to discuss market access efforts in both countries for a number of BCI clients, and he explored opportunities for harmonization of maximum residue level (MRL) standards in the region.  Market opportunities abound in the region, particularly in Vietnam which has lower import tariffs than Thailand on most U.S. agricultural products.

Pictured from left to right:  James Christie - BCI;  Gerald Smith - USDA/FAS/Ho Chi Minh City;  Thanh Vo - USDA/FAS/Ho Chi Minh City; and Frances Lee who serves as a marketing representative for a number of U.S. agricultural products in the region.

April 2, 2018

BCI staff visit a California olive canning facility

Company News April 2, 2018

BCI staff visit a California olive canning facility
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Last week Sarah Gelpi Hooker and Catherine Nguyen, members of BCI’s marketing team, were invited to visit a California olive processing facility to observe their day-to-day operations.

Along with California Olive Committee (COC) representatives and other COC consultants, BCI staff watched as olives were sorted, processed, and then packaged into a final product. Through this visit, BCI staff gained valuable insight into the California ripe olive industry and their processing techniques. On behalf of the industry, BCI works with COC on its international marketing program to expand exports of California olives around the globe.  

March 19, 2018

BCI Welcomes Catherine Nguyen

Company News March 19, 2018

BCI Welcomes Catherine Nguyen
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Catherine Nguyen joined BCI in January 2018 as an international marketing assistant.  Catherine supports the firm’s account managers with grant writing and reporting duties pertaining to USDA export assistance programs, project planning and implementation, as well as financial management tasks. 

Prior to BCI, Catherine worked as a research specialist for Real Capital Analytics, sifting through commercial real estate data to compose comprehensive case histories, as well as identifying crucial financing information for an internal database. Catherine has also worked as a remote fundraising coordinator for ETIV do Brasil, and has experience in applying for philanthropic grants geared towards environmental conservation initiatives.

In 2015, Catherine graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.A. in International Relations in addition to minors in German, International Agricultural Development, and Sustainability. She is fluent in Vietnamese, proficient in German, and is currently studying Brazilian Portuguese.

March 13, 2018

Matt Lantz Attends EU Minor Uses Coordination Meeting in Brussels

Company News March 13, 2018

Matt Lantz Attends EU Minor Uses Coordination Meeting in Brussels
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On March 13, Matt Lantz, Vice President for BCI Global Access participated in the European Minor Use Coordination Meeting in Brussels on behalf of the US hop industry. The goal of this group is to obtain additional crop protection options for European farmers. Matt is one of two American members of this organization.  

The US and European hop industries are coordinated in their crop protection needs, so the meeting provides a strong forum for sharing information and cooperating on international trade issues associated with pesticide Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs).

Photo:  EU Commodity Expert Working Group on Hops

March 2, 2018

Michael Shumyater Attends Fraud Prevention Workshop

Company News March 2, 2018

Michael Shumyater Attends Fraud Prevention Workshop
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On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, BCI Finance Manager Michael Shumyater attended an all-day Fraud Prevention Workshop organized by the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA). The main presenters were attorneys Katherine Heekin and Joe Hobson, who have worked with WUSATA and USDA export assistance grant programs for many years. Alongside presenters from WUSATA, they discussed different types of fraud, how to prevent it, and tips from the “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” which is prepared every other year by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.  

As BCI’s lead on financial management and compliance, Michael’s participation in workshops like this ensure that our firm remains on the cutting edge of financial and compliance issues and is able to best serve its clients that receive funding from the Market Access Program and other USDA grants.

February 28, 2018

Matt Lantz at the WTO in Geneva

Company News February 28, 2018

Matt Lantz at the WTO in Geneva
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On February 24 and 25, Matt Lantz, BCI's Vice President for Global Access, traveled to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva to participate in a workshop on missing Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) in international agriculture trade.  Government and industry officials from 17 countries came together to assess options for establishing and harmonizing MRLs among trading partner to facilitate agriculture exports. 

Photo:   Matt Lantz with officials from Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Uganda, and Canada. 

February 15, 2018

BCI staff conduct market assessments in Southeast Asia

Company News February 15, 2018

BCI staff conduct market assessments in Southeast Asia
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From January 4-20, BCI’s Director of Research Julie Cerenzia and Research Project Manager Hans Stroo traveled to six Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – to conduct market assessments for the U.S. Dry Bean Council (USDBC) and the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council (USADPLC).  The team conducted multiple supermarket visits and almost 50 interviews that will help validate activities proposed for support by the USDA Emerging Markets Program. 

 

Photo:  Julie Cerenzia and Hans Stroo meet with Chef Vindex Tengker, Vice President of Garuda International Airlines, and Ms. Pornnicha Sathujarun of Agrisource Co. Ltd., regional representative of USDBC and USADPLC.

 
February 13, 2018

BCI volunteers with Dress for Success

Company News February 13, 2018

BCI volunteers with Dress for Success
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Earlier this month, several BCI staff members teamed up for a volunteer opportunity at Dress for Success Seattle

Staff spent an afternoon organizing clothing racks and pulling together ensembles which were photographed for promotional purposes, as well as sorting shoes for the "closet" that stylists pull from when outfitting their clients for professional interviews. Staff also took product shots which are now being posted to the Dress for Success Facebook page to promote their March sale – one of the funding streams which supports their program in Seattle.

Dress for Success is a non-profit organization that provides women in need with professional workplace attire. They have locations all over the globe, including an operation out of the YWCA in downtown Seattle.

 


Shown at top from left to right: Karlee Kirking, Alinne Oliveira, Dexter Leland, Heather Daveno, Ann Stevenson and Maclyn Curley.

Photos at left are courtesy of Ann Stevenson.


 


February 13, 2018

Bryant Christie Inc. meets with major Canadian retailers to promote California fruits

Company News February 13, 2018

Bryant Christie Inc. meets with major Canadian retailers to promote California fruits
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On January 16-19, Will Callis, a member of the Bryant Christie Inc. (BCI) marketing team, visited Toronto and Montreal, Canada to organize promotions of California cherries and pears for the upcoming harvest.  Will met with the produce category managers at Loblaws, Sobeys, and Metro on behalf of the California Cherry Board and the California Pear Advisory Board.  During the meetings, Will discussed the promotional opportunities for both commodities with these major grocery retailers.  Canada is a strategically crucial market for both California cherries and pears, and the goal of this visit was to ensure that both industries secure strong promotional campaigns during the upcoming year.

As Bryant Christie celebrates its twenty-fifth year in business, we would like to extend a special thanks to the California cherry and pear industries, which have partnered with Bryant Christie for over twenty years.

Photos courtesy of the California Cherry Board and the California Pear Advisory Board.


February 12, 2018

Jack Callahan Joins BCI

Company News February 12, 2018

Jack Callahan Joins BCI
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Jack Callahan joined Bryant Christie Inc.’s Seattle office in January 2018 as a member of the firm’s research and evaluation team.  Jack contributes to the maintenance of BCI’s customized trade regulation databases, is helping implement database improvements, and also provides research and analysis in support of ad hoc research projects for clients.

Jack graduated from the University of Washington and Jackson School of International Studies with degrees in International Studies and Political Science. As an undergraduate, Jack worked as a Research Fellow with the Global Intelligence team at AS Solutions, helping provide long-term strategic intelligence and analysis to the Global Security team at Microsoft, and conducted data analysis for logistics firm, Expeditors International.

February 5, 2018

BCI welcomes Ben Britz

Company News February 5, 2018

BCI welcomes Ben Britz
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Ben Britz joined Bryant Christie Inc. in January 2018 as a Web Application Developer on the Technology Service team.  Ben works on building new products and features for the BCGlobal platform, which covers pesticide, veterinary drug, and food additive regulations.  His responsibilities include front-end and middle-tier development, as well as UX/UI graphic design.

Prior to joining BCI, Ben worked as a front-end developer for 14Four, a web development and digital marketing company located in Spokane WA.  While there he specialized in bridging the gap between digital graphics and the Web, working on several initiatives for organizations such as Coca-Cola, State Farm, Frito-Lay, and Toyota.  He also led 14Four’s internship, community outreach, and convention panel planning programs.

Ben is a graduate from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Design.

January 30, 2018

Bill Bryant Offers Guest Comments in Good Fruit Grower Magazine - Troubling Signs on Trade

Company News January 30, 2018

Bill Bryant Offers Guest Comments in Good Fruit Grower Magazine -  Troubling Signs on Trade
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BCI Chairman Bill Bryant writes about trade issues to watch for in 2018 and how they could impact the U.S. apple industry.  A copy of the article from the Good Fruit Grower January 2018 may be found at this link
January 5, 2018

Specialty Crop Block Program now accepting proposals for Washington State

Company News January 5, 2018

Specialty Crop Block Program now accepting proposals for Washington State
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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 bci@bryantchristie.com.

December 6, 2017

Matt Lantz Participates in US-China Agriculture Negotiations

Company News December 6, 2017

Matt Lantz Participates in US-China Agriculture Negotiations
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.

December 5, 2017

Alissa Chevallier

Company News December 5, 2017

Alissa Chevallier
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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.

November 30, 2017

Dr. SaMi Lee from Korea Visits BCI

Company News November 30, 2017

Dr. SaMi Lee from Korea Visits BCI
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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.

November 30, 2017

Alinne Oliveira Joins BCI

Company News November 30, 2017

Alinne Oliveira Joins BCI
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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.

November 3, 2017

BCI attends 68th annual PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo

Company News November 3, 2017

BCI attends 68th annual PMA Fresh Summit Convention & Expo
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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.

November 3, 2017

BCI leads China and India reverse trade mission during the Wisconsin cranberry harvest

Company News November 3, 2017

BCI leads China and India reverse trade mission during the Wisconsin cranberry harvest
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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).

October 23, 2017

Matt Lantz Meets with European Officials on MRLs

Company News October 23, 2017

Matt Lantz Meets with European Officials on MRLs
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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 GlobalMRL.com, 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.

October 16, 2017

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant for 2017-18

Company News October 16, 2017

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grant for 2017-18
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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@bryantchristie.com.

October 16, 2017

BCI Attends Global Minor Use Summit 3

Company News October 16, 2017

BCI Attends Global Minor Use Summit 3
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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.

September 20, 2017

BCI Staffers Co-Author Book on International Pesticide Regulation

Company News, Global MRL News September 20, 2017

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This month saw the publication of a book coauthored by Bryant Christie Inc.’s Vice President for Global Access Matt Lantz and former staffer Alyse McConnell. Declining International Cooperation on Pesticide Regulation; Frittering Away Food Security is one of few books published concerning the challenges to international agricultural trade posed by differing international pesticide Maximum Residue Level (MRL) standards. 

Differing MRL standards have been an increasing problem for the last decade as more and more countries have developed their own unique pesticide regulations with standards that are not harmonized at international levels or with those of trading partners. The result is a variety of MRLs, causing food that is perfectly legal in its country of origin to be rejected upon arrival in an export market due to differing or missing standards. The cost to shippers and industry reputations can be enormous. 

The book provides background on this issue, outlines how serious the problem is, reviews how different countries address international MRL issues, and proposes options for minimizing negative effects on trade while providing for consumer safety.

The book is published by the Palgrave Studies in Agriculture Economics and Food Policy and can be purchased at: https://www.palgrave.com/la/book/9783319605517

September 15, 2017

BCI Staff Take Harvest Tour of Eastern Washington

Company News September 15, 2017

BCI Staff Take Harvest Tour of Eastern Washington
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On September 14, Bryant Christie Inc. Chairman Bill Bryant and Marketing Director David McCaleb led a harvest tour for several of the newer BCI staff to visit agricultural producers in Eastern Washington.  Members of the Regulatory Data, Research, and Marketing teams came along on the tour, including Jeffery Mitchell, Karlee Kirking, Liz Cady, Maclyn Curley, Hans Stroo, and Dexter Leland. 

The tour made stops at Hedges Family Estate, C&C Hop Farms, Yakima Chief—Hopunion, and Washington Fruit & Produce Co., where the staff learned about the groups’ respective products and industries.  Visits like these offer a valuable opportunity for staff to engage directly with some of the agricultural industries that BCI is involved in. 

We would like to thank all the producers and groups listed above for hosting us on this educational outing.


September 13, 2017

BCI Attends AsiaFruit Logistica in Hong Kong

Company News September 13, 2017

BCI Attends AsiaFruit Logistica in Hong Kong
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From September 6-8, BCI President James Christie, Vice President Matt Lantz, and International Marketing Manager Sarah Gelpi Hooker participated in the annual AsiaFruit Logistica Meeting in Hong Kong.   AsiaFruit Logistica is the largest fruit and vegetable trade show in Asia. 

While at the conference, BCI met with leaders in produce industry from Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Peru, South Africa, and many other markets. The team discussed trade policy, market access, and international marketing of horticultural crops to Asia. BCI also attended a reception hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture for conference attendees, and contacted Hong Kong government officials on the latest policies that might affect fruit exports to the region.

August 21, 2017

BCI Team Travels with Chinese Quarantine Delegation

Company News August 21, 2017

BCI Team Travels with Chinese Quarantine Delegation
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From August 12-18, BCI arranged and hosted a delegation of Chinese government officials during their review of the US potato industry. The Chinese officials traveled to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to learn about US potato industry growing and pest management practices. This visit was a prerequisite for opening the Chinese market for fresh chipping potatoes from the US. 

Matt Lantz, BCI’s Vice President for Global Access, traveled with the delegation throughout the week. The delegation visited potato farms, packing sheds, research facilities, and a processing plant.  

August 8, 2017

Bryant Christie Inc. leads reverse trade mission to promote California pears

Company News August 8, 2017

Bryant Christie Inc. leads reverse trade mission to promote California pears
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On July 17-21, Will Callis, a member of the Bryant Christie Inc. (BCI) marketing team, hosted six Mexican wholesale produce buyers on behalf of the California Pear Advisory Board (CPAB).  Will, along with the CPAB’s Mexican marketing representative, organized the flights, hotels, guest lists, and itinerary for the trip.  During the trip, the wholesalers met with the four primary pear exporters from California, toured their packing facilities and orchards, and discussed the current market situation.  The goal of the trip was to reinvigorate the relationships between the Mexican wholesale produce trade and the California pear industry, in an effort to increase exports to this sector.

As Bryant Christie celebrates its twenty fifth year in business, we would like to extend a special thanks to the California pear industry, who has partnered with Bryant Christie for over twenty years to promote the export of California pears all over the world.

August 8, 2017

BCI Welcomes Pamela Araoz

Company News August 8, 2017

BCI Welcomes Pamela Araoz
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Pamela Araoz joined Bryant Christie Inc. in June 2017 as a Financial and Grant Management Assistant. Her primary role is supporting BCI’s federal and state grant accounting staff, including assisting with client financial accounting and audit preparation.

Pamela is a graduate from Sonoma State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. As an undergraduate, Pamela gained professional experiences in the financial services sector through her internships. Pamela interned with the agricultural lending institution, Rabobank N.A, as a Financial Analyst Intern for the North Coast Food and Ag. Department. She also worked at Maxwell Money Management, working as their Client Support Intern.

Pamela is fluent in Spanish and has spent time traveling and visiting her family in Peru.

August 4, 2017

BCI Global Access Team Attends International Hop Congress

Company News August 4, 2017

BCI Global Access Team Attends International Hop Congress
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On August 2, members of BCI's Global Access team including Matt Lantz, Karsten Lundquist, and Adam Hollowell attended the annual International Hop Congress in Yakima, Washington. While there, the group participated in a day-long meeting on plant protection material and hops sponsored by the German Federal government. BCI's Matt Lantz spoke twice at the event on behalf of the US hop growers. 

BCI has had a relationship with the US hop industry since its founding 25 years ago.

August 4, 2017

Lisa Kirchhoff Joins BCI

Company News August 4, 2017

Lisa Kirchhoff Joins BCI
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Lisa Kirchhoff joined Bryant Christie Inc in April 2017 as the office manager for the Sacramento office.  Lisa is responsible for Sacramento office operations as well as staff and project support.  She also serves as the executive assistant to Mr. Christie.

In addition to her work at BCI, Lisa also operates in her family wine business where she assists in a creative role of marketing and events.  She also manages the wine club and sales for Kirchhoff Wines.

Prior to joining BCI, Lisa was the operations manager for Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  As operations manager, she offered support to the general manager and worked closely with the visual merchandising team.  Her focus was to maintain product and manufacturing knowledge to manage inventory levels and oversee the delivery team success.  Other responsibilities included, customer care support, monitoring invoices, purchase orders, provide extra support to sales team and assist in all in-store events.

Lisa is a graduate of California State University of Long Beach, with a Bachelors of Arts in General Design.  She also took advantage of a summer program through CSULB to study architecture in Prague, Czech Republic.

August 2, 2017

BCI Staff Attend USAEDC Attache Conference

Company News August 2, 2017

BCI Staff Attend USAEDC Attache Conference
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On July 12-13, Bryant Christie Inc. (BCI) marketing and trade policy team members attended the United States Agriculture Export Development Council’s (USAEDC) Attaché Consultations and Seminar in Arlington, Virginia.  This conference serves as one of the largest gatherings of US agriculture export professionals and representatives from USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) each year. 

During the first day of the conference, BCI team members met with internationally posted USDA FAS foreign service officers to discuss a wide range of topics of interest to BCI clients.  Discussions ranged from support of international marketing efforts, such as direct consumer promotions and participation in international trade shows, to concerns regarding trade policy and regulations. 

The following day, BCI team members listened to presentations and panel discussions covering a host of international trade issues.  Topics of these discussions included: USDA’s recent reorganization to include an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs, progress of international trade negotiations, and current geopolitical events and how they may affect US agricultural trade.  Through attending these sessions, the BCI team and its clients are better equipped to address challenges in international food and agricultural trade and increase exports alongside its USDA partners.

August 2, 2017

BCI Welcomes Laura Huerta

Company News August 2, 2017

BCI Welcomes Laura Huerta
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Laura Huerta joined Bryant Christie Inc.’s Sacramento office in April 2017 as a member of the research and global access teams. She assists with the maintenance of BCI's customized trade regulation databases, and with trade policy analyses and notifications, as well as conducting market and competitor research for clients. 

Laura is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a degree in International Relations. She also holds a MA in Geopolitics, Territory & Security from King’s College, London. Prior to joining BCI, Laura worked on a data services team at a marketing company in London.

May 26, 2017

BCI Staff visit California cherry packing facilities

Company News May 26, 2017

BCI Staff visit California cherry packing facilities
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Last week, members of BCI’s trade policy and marketing teams visited two California cherry packing facilities to observe their operations during the harvest season.  BCI staff watched as cherries arrived on trucks from the orchards, learned about measures in place to ensure high product quality, and spoke with the industry about their processes.  The team also toured the facilities to view optical sizers and packing lines in action.

On behalf of the California cherry industry, BCI works with the California Cherry Board (CCB) on trade policy and market access issues to ensure smooth shipments to international markets.  BCI also manages the industry’s international marketing program to expand exports of California cherries across the globe.

Pictured from left to right: Adam Hollowell, BCI Trade Policy Specialist; Chiles Wilson, Principal Owner/President of Rivermaid Trading Company, Sarah Gelpi Hooker, BCI Marketing Accounts Manager; and Laura Huerta, BCI Research and Trade Policy Analyst. Not pictured: James Christie, BCI President.

May 18, 2017

Matt Lantz Speaks to Lamb Weston Global Conference

Company News May 18, 2017

Matt Lantz Speaks to Lamb Weston Global Conference
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Last week, BCI’s Vice President for Global Access traveled to Phoenix to speak to the Lamb Weston global sales team about international trade issues affecting processed potato exports.  Matt’s talk ranged from US trade policy under President Trump to West Coast Port labor negotiations to biotechnology labeling to cases before the World Trade Organization affecting exports to Indonesia. 

As the manager of the American Potato Trade Alliance, Matt and BCI have significant background with international trade issues affecting frozen fry and dehydrated potato exports.

May 18, 2017

Adam Hollowell Joins Market Access Team

Company News May 18, 2017

Adam Hollowell Joins Market Access Team
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Adam Hollowell joined Bryant Christie Inc’s Sacramento office in 2017 as a Trade Policy Specialist.  As part of the firm’s Global Access team, Adam works to open foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities, monitoring trade policy issues, and addressing international agricultural policy concerns on behalf of BCI's clients.

Prior to joining BCI, Adam worked in various roles in Kenya, China, Italy, the United Kingdom and United States. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Italian from Lancaster University, UK, and a Masters degree in International Relations from Birkbeck College, University of London.

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