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


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November 30, 2017
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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.

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November 3, 2017
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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.

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November 3, 2017
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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).

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October 23, 2017
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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.

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October 16, 2017
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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.

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October 16, 2017
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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
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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

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September 15, 2017
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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.


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September 13, 2017
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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.

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August 21, 2017
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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.  

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