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


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October 22, 2018
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Kristen Ford joined Bryant Christie Inc.’s Sacramento office in June 2018 as the firm’s Accounting Manager and Grants Finance Assistant. Split between these roles, she manages BCI’s main business finances and assists the federal grant accounting staff including client financial accounting and audit preparation.

Prior to joining BCI, Kristen worked as the Grants Manager/Finance Manager for Farmer Veteran Coalition where she gained experience in her work with USDA grants.

As a licensed customs broker, Kristen ran her own brokerage business for over 12 years, specializing in the food and beverage trade.

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October 18, 2018
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During the first week of October, BCI’s Sacramento team visited Blue Diamond Growers for a tour of its Sacramento plant.  The BCI team was able to watch as Blue Diamond prepared its signature flavored snack almonds, from the sorting of raw almonds, roasting and the application of Blue Diamond’s world-famous flavors, all the way through to packaging in the iconic Blue Diamond cans.  BCI also discussed the almond industry and international marketing efforts with Blue Diamond’s International Consumer team.

The visit provided an excellent opportunity to witness—in real time—the transformation of one of California’s most important crops into a value-added product with international reach.  Such experiences provide real-world context for the work that BCI does every day to assist agricultural groups to develop and sustain international trade.  This visit was organized as part of Bryant Christie’s BCXplore (BCX) program, designed to support leadership development and team building. 

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October 16, 2018
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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.

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October 5, 2018
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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.

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October 2, 2018
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President

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.

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October 2, 2018
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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.

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September 18, 2018
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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.

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September 12, 2018
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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.

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August 20, 2018
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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. 

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August 6, 2018
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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.

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