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


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March 22, 2021
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BCI’s Market Development business unit works closely with the California cherry industry on their international market development program. As a part of these efforts, Shelby Sackett on our team is overseeing the development of new photography and videography assets to be used in California cherry international market development collateral and promotion.

To kick off the project, Shelby (BCI Market Development Assistant) and Sarah (BCI Market Development Director) took a trip down to Linden, California on Wednesday to oversee a photo and video shoot of California cherry orchards in bloom. Bloom in the Linden area is coming along very nicely, and bees were hard at work in the orchards, pollinating this year’s crop.

The next phase of this project will include more photography and videography both in the packing house and in the fields during the harvest, which is expected to begin in late April.

March 2, 2021
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Bryant Christie Inc. is very pleased to announce that Matt Lantz, Vice President for Global Access, has been accepted as a lifetime member by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). 

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. CFR’s goal is to start a conversation in the United States about the need for Americans to better understand the world. 

The Council on Foreign Relations is first and foremost a membership organization whose individual and corporate members represent a group unmatched in accomplishment.  Based throughout the country and around the world, CFR members are exposed to top talent and expertise brought together to generate intellectual conversation regarding the most relevant topics in foreign policy and international relations. 

CFR’s membership represents a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs.  Members include Former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice, James Baker, Madeline Albright, and Henry Kissinger, Former Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin, author and CNN host Fareed Zakaria, and actor Angelina Jolie.

By joining CFR, Matt is being recognized as a leading voice in the country on international agriculture trade policy issues.   As part of the CFR, he will represent Bryant Christie Inc. and provide a voice on international agriculture trade to the leaders of foreign policy in the United States. 

The CFR is a trusted and indispensable resource on the foreign policy choices facing the United States.  More information on the group can be found at www.cfr.org.

February 10, 2021
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Two BCI staff members are currently serving on the USDA Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Fruit and Vegetables.  Matt Lantz, BCI’s Vice President for Global Access, was reappointed on January 14, 2021 to serve a second five year term representing the US cranberry industry, and Will Callis, BCI’s Senior Manager for Market Development, is in his second year representing the US apple industry.

ATAC Advisors have a security clearance and are asked to provide guidance to the US Trade Representative’s Office and senior USDA officials on trade policy matters.   They convey priorities for their industries on matters such as trade agreement negotiations and emerging trade barriers.  BCI is pleased to have two staff members serving on the fruit and vegetable ATAC on behalf of important US agriculture industries.

February 10, 2021
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During the week of January 25, BCI’s Market Development team members participated in virtual meetings hosted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the US Agriculture Economic Development Council (USAEDC) called “The Role of the Agricultural Trade Office.” ATOs are the USDA offices overseas that promote US agriculture exports.  

The sessions featured panelists from several Agricultural Trade Offices and agriculture groups detailing their experiences working together to promote US agricultural products overseas. The focus was on leveraging the resources and knowledge of ATOs to serve the US agricultural community in their markets via trade shows and events, market intelligence, speaking opportunities, and more.  Communication was stressed as important to keeping each other looped in on collaborative opportunities.

 

February 8, 2021
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Madi Jackson joined BCI.’s Seattle office in 2019 as a Research Assistant on the Regulatory Intelligence team, and was promoted to Regulatory Analyst in February 2021.

Madi contributes to the maintenance of the BCGlobal suite of regulatory services by researching, analyzing, and inputting data on international food regulations for pesticides, veterinary drugs, contaminants, and food ingredients. She monitors for changes to policies and regulations across markets and relays these changes in articles for the BCI MRL and Food Additive News and BCI’s customized subscription newsletters, the BCGlobal Monitor. She is also involved with the design and development of new regulatory data products, working closely with IT development teams on the design and development of complex systems and reports.

Madi is a graduate of the University of Idaho with Bachelor of Arts degrees in International Studies and Spanish, and a minor in Professional Writing. While obtaining her degree, she participated in programs and internships in Ecuador and Uruguay.

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February 8, 2021
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Sarah Gelpi Hooker was promoted to Director of Market Development in February 2021.

Sarah joined BCI's Sacramento office in September of 2016 as a member of the Market Development team and became a senior manager in August 2018. She was promoted to Assistant Director in May 2019 .

Sarah manages the marketing team in writing and administering grants related to the United States Department of Agriculture export assistance programs, and works with a number of clients to implement their organization’s promotional activities. Strategic planning, project management, and financial management are all a part of her responsibilities.

Prior to joining BCI, Sarah worked as the International Marketing Manager for the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA), a non-profit agricultural trade association. At SUSTA, Sarah worked closely with the southern State Departments of Agriculture to develop SUSTA’s international marketing strategy. She also managed SUSTA’s international marketing budget and activity implementation.

Sarah is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in Spanish. Additionally, she holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans with a concentration in International Business. Sarah has also studied in San Ramon, Costa Rica through the University of New Orleans, and at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

October 16, 2020
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Kris joined BCI in August 2020 as a Senior Front-end Developer for the Technology team. He is primarily responsible for Web development specific to front-end expansion efforts as well as maintenance for BCGlobal and other BCI application systems.

Prior to joining BCI, Kris served as lead software developer for the Microsoft division of MV Transportation. There he built customer facing applications and APIs to facilitate on-demand shuttle booking and reservation services. Before that, he was a senior software engineer at Docusign where he developed features to improve the signing experience.

Kris holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Central Washington University.

 

 

October 14, 2020
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Heleana Lally joined BCI’s Seattle office in 2020 as a Trade Policy Assistant. As part of the firm’s Global Access team, Heleana works to monitor and analyze foreign pesticide regulatory policies and MRL systems around the world and identify the affects they may have on U.S. agricultural exports.

Prior to joining BCI, Heleana worked in various international development areas, such as a program evaluation research consultant in the global health industry, as well as a policy fellow in Rwanda where she developed financial and economic development strategies for Akilah Institute.

Heleana holds a combined Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics with a specialized focus in intranational trade from Western Washington University, and a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. While in graduate school, Heleana focused on policy and program development in addressing cancer care needs in African countries and was recognized for her exceptional research work in program evaluation and contributions to the international development field.

September 10, 2020
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On September 8, 2020, BCI’s Vice President for Global Access, Matt Lantz, addressed the Ministers of Agriculture from seven Central American countries.   Matt was asked to speak on the potential impact European pesticide policies may have on exports of Central American crops to the EU.  

Highlighting the challenges to products like bananas, coffee, and pineapple, Matt stressed the need for a coordinated regional response that used risk-based principles and the international Codex system to ensure both consumer safety and the ability to grow and export crops.   He also encouraged the countries to coordinate such efforts as a region and to reach out to other parts of the world such as Africa, which are facing similar challenges.

July 10, 2020
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Betty Thomas joined BCI’s Sacramento office in July 2020 as a member of the Research and Information Services team. Betty predominantly contributes to the customized weekly BCI Monitor, newsletters researching and reporting on key developments in market access, technical regulations, and trade policy that affect BCI’s clients.

Prior to joining BCI, Betty interned at the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. There she worked with the Cochran Fellowship Program on the WTO SPS/TBT and Latin American and Caribbean programs.

Betty is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She holds a BS in Agribusiness with a concentration in Policy and Law and minors in Spanish, Economics, and International Systems in Agriculture. She also holds a MS from Mississippi State in Agricultural Economics, where her thesis studied the consumer purchasing response to mandatory GE food labels in the United States. While in college, she studied abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, conducted economic research in Havana, Cuba, served as Student Association Treasurer, and was a Farm Foundation Cultivator.

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