Company News

Company News

October 16, 2020

Kris Childs Joins BCI

Company News October 16, 2020



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

BCI Welcomes Heleana Lally

Company News October 14, 2020


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

Matt Lantz Speaks to Central American Ministers of Agriculture

Company News September 10, 2020


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

BCI Welcomes Betty Thomas

Company News July 10, 2020


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.

July 6, 2020

BCI Welcomes Tamara Thorberg

Company News July 6, 2020


Tamara Thorberg joined BCI in July 2020 as a member of the Market Development team. In her role, Tamara manages a number of client marketing accounts and is responsible for strategic planning, activity planning and implementation, researching/writing grant proposals, financial management, and more.

Prior to joining BCI, Tamara worked as a Tourism Manager in the International Tourism department at Visit Seattle - the official destination marketing organization for Seattle & King County. She was responsible for promoting Seattle as a world-class leisure destination in the Asia-Pacific markets. Tamara also served as an Events & Programs Manager at the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, where she organized trade missions to South America, Europe, and Asia.

Born in Japan, raised in Hawaii, and a dual citizen of Iceland and the United States, Tamara has a strong passion for international relations and travel. Tamara is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in International Studies. Tamara also studied at Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany. 

June 26, 2020

BCI Welcomes Melanie Barron

Company News June 26, 2020


Melanie Barron joined BCI’s Sacramento office in June 2020 as the Accounting Manager. She manages BCI’s corporate finances including client financial accounting and audit preparation. She has over 18 years of corporate accounting.

Prior to joining BCI, Melanie worked in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area. She started her accounting career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP in the San Jose office and furthered her accounting background by joining other regional and local accounting firms. Most recently, she was the Accounting Manager and Human Resources Manager for a marketing company in the Napa Valley.

April 7, 2020

Thomas MacFadyen Joins BCI Sacramento

Company News April 7, 2020


Thomas joined BCI in March 2020 as a Financial and Grant Management Assistant on the firm’s Market Development team. Prior to joining BCI, Thomas worked in the local farm-to-fork restaurant industry and at a busy office solutions company in its contract administration department.

Thomas is a native of Sacramento, and graduated with honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with emphasis in African culture and history. He spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy where he completed courses in the Italian Language and Italian Renaissance history and culture. Thomas has travelled to over 25 countries and enjoys learning about different cultures. He has a passion for global current events and California agriculture.


March 10, 2020

BCI Staff Tour the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Company News March 10, 2020


In February, several BCI Sacramento-office staff had the opportunity to tour the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company facility in Chico, California.  During the tour, the BCI team learned about the history of Sierra Nevada, the varieties of hops used, and the company’s sustainability initiatives.  Overall, the tour was interactive and informative, and provided excellent insight into each step of the brewing process.

Sierra Nevada is the third largest craft brewery in the U.S. and one of the largest buyers of hops in the world.  They are also an active member of the Brewers Association (BA).  BCI works with the BA on its Export Development Program—promoting and facilitating exports of U.S. craft beer. 

February 3, 2020

Registrations And Their Impacts On U.S. Potato Exports

Company News February 3, 2020


Eye on Potatoes: A Podcast on All Things Potatoes

NPC's Kam Quarles provides a D.C. update after the President's signing of the USMCA trade agreement, and an expert panel at Potato Expo 2020 takes a deep dive into the challenging issue of disharmonized international maximum residue levels (MRLs) for pesticides, including and how foreign countries’ differing standards are affecting potato trade and can hinder a grower’s choices when seeking to grow a healthy crop.

Guests: Kam Quarles, CEO, National Potato Council
Rachel Lattimore, SVP & General Counsel, CropLife America
Matt Lantz, International Market Access Division Manager, Bryant Christie

Listen to the podcast here.

January 27, 2020

Luke Moderhack Joins the BCI Team

Company News January 27, 2020
















Luke Moderhack joined BCI’s Seattle office in November 2019 as an analyst on the Research and Information Services team.

Luke conducts technical research regarding the many regulatory requirements that must be met by food and agricultural exports, including certification and documentation requirements, product and facility registration processes, consumer labeling requirements, food contact materials, and ever-shifting tariff schedules. His research contributes to ad hoc regulatory analyses and to the development and maintenance of customized trade regulation databases that ensure our clients’ regulatory compliance teams have clear and accurate information at their fingertips.

Prior to joining BCI, Luke conducted research and analysis for the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), a Washington, DC-based industry association supporting private capital investment in emerging markets, where he rose to the position of Research Manager. At EMPEA, Luke developed rigorous data sets, which were cited by publications including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times; managed the association’s quarterly research publication, redesigning it to strengthen its relevance for investors; produced impactful data-driven market research reports for Latin America and Eastern Europe; presented research, and moderated investor panels.

Luke graduated from Northwestern University with a BA with Honors in History and a minor in its Business Institutions Program. As an undergraduate, he conducted archival research and studied German in Saarbrücken and Munich, Germany.

November 19, 2019

BCI Moderates the Global Hop Summit in Brussels

Company News November 19, 2019


On December 18, BCI Vice President for Global Access Matt Lantz and Trade Policy Specialist Alinne Oliveira participated in the Global Hop Summit in Brussels.   The goal of the meeting was to inform members of the European Parliament and European Commission on issues affecting the long term production of hops. 

Alinne Oliveira moderated the entire event, while Matt Lantz spoke on how EU pesticide policies are impacting hop production both in Europe and around the world.   Matt also participated in several panel discussions including one with the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee. 

November 7, 2019

Matt Lantz meets with European Hop Industry

Company News November 7, 2019


On October 30, Matt Lantz met with leaders of the European hop industry in Dublin, Ireland to discuss plant protection issues associated with the crop.  He provided the group with an update on the latest developments from the European Commission that might affect the quality of EU hop production. 

Matt is the only US member of the EU-sponsored Commodity Expert Working Group on Hops.  The group meets twice annually.


November 1, 2019

Navigating Global Trade at the Northern California ITC

Company News November 1, 2019

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On October 24, BCI staffers Adam Hollowell and Shelby Sackett attended the Northern California World Trade Center’s “Navigating Global Trade in these Uncertain Times” event in Sacramento, California.  At the event, Adam and Shelby attended presentations given by David Stepp, a partner at trade advisory firm Crowell & Morning, and Bud Colligan, a Senior International Affairs and Trade Advisor at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. 

The speakers discussed relevant topics impacting California’s current economic climate.  This included the economic policies and strategies of Governor Newsom as well as the international trade challenges businesses are facing, such as the US-China trade war, and the implications of Brexit. 

October 29, 2019

BCI Welcomes Shelby Sackett

Company News October 29, 2019


Shelby Sackett joined BCI’s Sacramento office in September 2019, as a member of the Market Development Team.

Shelby assists in preparing market development reports and presentations for clients, and supports the execution of client promotional strategies. She also participates in grant writing and administration related to the United States Department of Agriculture’s export assistance programs.

Shelby graduated with distinguished honors from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Political Science, and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. While obtaining her degree, Shelby studied abroad at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.  She also participated in summer programs in both Egypt and Italy.


October 22, 2019

Cranberry Harvest Tour

Company News October 22, 2019

Members of BCI’s Market Development team traveled to Massachusetts to observe the annual cranberry harvest.

This week, David McCaleb, Sarah Gelpi, and Daria Mikhalchenko of BCI’s Market Development team traveled to Massachusetts to observe the annual cranberry harvest. David, Sarah, and Daria joined the Cranberry Marketing Committee (CMC) and a team from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for a cranberry bog tour to learn more about the cranberry wet harvest process. The group also had the opportunity to tour a processing facility to see firsthand how the fresh fruit is then transformed into sweet dried cranberries and cranberry concentrate.

BCI’s Market Development team works with CMC on its generic international marketing program to promote exports of U.S. cranberry products globally.  To learn more about BCI’s Market Development services, click here.

October 15, 2019

Aaron Y. Rabinowitz Joins BCI

Company News October 15, 2019


Aaron Y. Rabinowitz joined BCI’s Seattle office in October 2019 as an International Trade Policy Assistant.

As part of the Global Access team, Aaron works to open foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities, monitor trade policy issues, support BCI’s MRL monitoring systems, and address international agricultural policy concerns on behalf of BCI’s clients.

Prior to joining BCI, Aaron worked as a research writer at an economic intelligence firm in Washington, DC, and as a writer and rapporteur for the Project on Foresight and Democracy.

Aaron is a graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University with a Bachelor’s in International Affairs and a concentration in National Security Policy. As an undergraduate, Aaron was the captain of his university triathlon team, and in 2017 he competed on Team USA Triathlon at the 20th Maccabiah World Games in Israel.

October 2, 2019

BCI Staff Attend Women in Agribusiness Summit

Company News October 2, 2019

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From September 25-27, Sarah Gelpi and Pamela Araoz (of BCI’s Market Development team) attended the 8th annual Women in Agribusiness Summit (WIA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

At the Summit, Sarah and Pam attended panels featuring the viewpoints of women leaders in varying roles within the Agribusiness sector, including U.S. State Commissioners of Agriculture, farmers and ranchers, and executives. The Summit also included breakout sessions and presentations on the latest international trade news, innovations in ag, industry outlooks and trends, and other forward-thinking topics facing agriculture.

August 27, 2019

BCI Successfully Completes China FNGO Registration Process

Company News August 27, 2019


China's regulatory environment can be challenging to navigate.  Recently, the enforcement of registration requirements for foreign non-governmental organizations (FNGOs) has impacted promotional programs for several USDA Cooperators. BCI's Market Development Team has been at the forefront of this issue for its clients and, in July 2019, successfully completed the registration process in China on behalf of a client.

BCI President James Christie traveled to China to receive the client's registration certificate, meet with Shanghai Public Security Bureau officials, and discuss the issue with the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. BCI is pleased with this successful outcome and is glad to see the client's promotional program in China resume with this important requirement now addressed.

For questions regarding China's FNGO requirements, please contact Sarah Gelpi, Assistant Director of BCI's Market Development team, to assist at 916-492-7062.


August 7, 2019

BCI Oversees USDA Inbound Program for Chinese Seafood Trade

Company News August 7, 2019


From July 22 to August 3, BCI collaborated with USDA and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to host a group of 9 seafood importers from China on an educational and trade tour of Washington, Oregon, and Alaska through the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program.  The group was able to meet with a range of U.S. seafood suppliers, trade associations, and environmental organizations in each of the states to learn about the quality and sustainability found in American seafood products.  BCI’s experience in various agricultural sectors has allowed the company to lead a number of USDA Cochran Fellowship Programs like the one detailed here. Click here for more information on how BCI helps develop markets abroad.

(Photo above): The group at a meeting with Alaskan Leader Seafoods in Seattle, WA. (Below): The group during a processing plant site visit with Ocean Beauty Seafoods in Cordova, AK.

June 11, 2019

David McCaleb Reappointed to U.S. Government Trade Advisor Committee

Company News June 11, 2019

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David McCaleb (Director, International Marketing) has been reappointed to the U.S. Government's Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Food Products.  This committee provides technical advice to the United States Trade Representative and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on trade issues that pertain to agriculture.  On the committee, David will represent the Brewers Association.  His appointment goes through 2023.

April 22, 2019

BCI Participates in Codex 2019

Company News April 22, 2019


BCI daily tracks changing global chemical, additive & ingredient food standards. Last year, BCI’s reg intelligence team tracked over 2300 foreign technical regulations—well over 9 a day.

In recent weeks, BCI participated in Codex standard setting meetings in China, so our database subscribers will have the most current info at their fingertips.

Learn more about our BCGlobal Subscriptions here.

April 18, 2019

Developing Markets for Craft Beers

Company News April 18, 2019

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Matt Brynildson, @FirestoneWalker's beer master and Eric Rosenberg, BCI’s VP are talking about hops, beer markets and exports. BCI helps US hop growers and US craft beer brewers develop new markets.

For information on market development check out our Market Development offerings.

April 16, 2019

Overview of USMEC

Company News April 16, 2019

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Do you want an overview of how the US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA) affects food, beverage and agricultural exports?

Click here for details

April 15, 2019

Market Development at the Craft Brewers Conference

Company News April 15, 2019

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David McCaleb and Dexter Leland, (of BCI’s market development group), on behalf of the Brewers Association, recently organized educational seminars, on-site brewery tours, and trade meetings for foreign beer buyers during the Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) in Denver. For more information about how BCI helps develop markets, please see:

April 9, 2019

Eliminating Trade Barriers in Japan

Company News April 9, 2019

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Bryant Christie works with embassies around the world to untangle regulatory red tape that cuts into exporters' profits.  This week, James Christie, BCI's president, and Matt Lantz, VP of global access, are in Tokyo, eliminating trade barriers and learning more about upcoming trade talks. 

If you have a trade barrier that's keeping you from exporting, please visit BCI's Global Access page.

April 9, 2019

James Christie Speaks at Safe Food California Conference

Company News April 9, 2019

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Every day, BCI helps food exporters comply with food safety & changing chemical residue standards. Last week, our president James C. Christie addressed the Safe Food California conference on changing EU regulations.

Need help?  Please see our BCGlobal Subscriptions page!

March 1, 2019

BCI Staff Visit Washington State Wine Commission

Company News March 1, 2019


BCI staff visited the Washington State Wine Commission for a presentation on Washington State wine and guided tasting by the Commission’s president, Steve Warner. Steve taught BCI staff about all of the factors—including climate, geology, and winemaker talent—that make Washington State a premium wine-producing region making a higher percentage of 90+ rated wines in the past five years than Italy, Spain, or California.

The group was able to taste this quality for themselves through a guided tasting.  BCI’s marketing team works closely with the Washington State Wine Commission on their international marketing programs, helping to grow exports for the Washington State wine industry.

December 10, 2018

Sarah Gelpi Judges Culinary Competition at UpperCrust in Mumbai

Company News December 10, 2018

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India is an emerging market for the U.S. cranberry industry, and BCI works with the Cranberry Marketing Committee to increase awareness and utilization of U.S. cranberries through a mix of promotional, educational, and trade relations activities.  As a part of these efforts, CMC leads a USDA-funded Global Broad-Based Initiative project in India in collaboration with California Walnuts, USA Pears, the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, and Washington Apples to promote the use of these U.S. agricultural products as premium ingredients. 

At the UpperCrust Food and Wine show this weekend in Mumbai, BCI Marketing team-member Sarah Gelpi served as a judge for a culinary and mixology competition during which these products were featured in dishes and cocktails made by budding and professional chefs and mixologists.  Sarah said: “The creativity in using our U.S. agricultural products—including the fusion into Indian cuisine—was great to witness and to taste.  Activities like these reinforce the idea that U.S. ingredients like cranberries are versatile, and can complement Indian flavors well.  And while India does have a reputation for being difficult to penetrate, the market potential is evident.  With a growing middle-class, solid economic growth, and increasing demand for healthier foods, the market is ripe for development for products like U.S. cranberries.”   
November 7, 2018

Melissa Melgar Joins BCI

Company News November 7, 2018

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Melissa Melgar joined Bryant Christie Inc. in November 2018 as a Financial and Grant Management Assistant. Her primary role is supporting BCI’s marketing staffShe has six years of administrative and operational support experience in both public and private sectors, including an internship with the World Affairs Council of Seattle. Professionally she has enjoyed working with federal and state grant process, managing cross-sector relations, and program management in various global affairs settings.

Melissa is a graduate from California State University, Bakersfield with a Bachelor’s in Political Science-International Relations and a minor in Business Administration. As an undergraduate, Melissa spent a year in Sweden where she participated in a study exchange at Uppsala University, learned Swedish, and coordinated the 2015 Uppsala Model United Nations conference.
October 30, 2018

Matt Lantz Attends the Commodity Expert Working Group (CEG) on Hops in Žalec, Slovenia

Company News October 30, 2018

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The European Union is proposing to eliminate certain crop protection products used in hop production. Those proposals, dominated this week’s discussions at Commodity Expert Working Group (CEG) on Hops in Žalec, Slovenia. Matt Lantz, Bryant Christie’s VP for Global Access, is the only American member of the European CEG.

At the meeting, Lantz provided the European hop industry with a list of nine hop crop protection products that could be removed in the EU within three years. One is quinoxyfen (Quintec), a chemical that attacks a serious hop disease called powdery mildew. It could be removed from the EU next year, and while that would make it unavailable to EU hop growers, it would also effectively remove it from the US market because hops treated with it could not be exported to the EU. That could leave the 2019 hop crop vulnerable to this hop cone destroying mildew.

“The US and Europeans hop industries know they’ve got to encourage harmonizing technical standards’ Lantz said, “And they’ve got to present unified responses to EU proposals. BCI is helping with both.”

Shown here: Matt Lantz (at center), Dr. Kugel from Germany and Dr. Radišek from Slovenia enjoying the world’s only public beer fountain in Žalec, Slovenia.

October 22, 2018

Kristen Ford Joins BCI

Company News 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.

October 18, 2018

BCI Staff Tour Blue Diamond Packing Plant

Company News 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. 

October 16, 2018

Jakob Hofso Joins BCI

Company News 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.

October 5, 2018

BCI Attends the Women in Agribusiness Summit

Company News 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.

October 2, 2018

BCI Works on U.S. NGO Registration in China

Company News October 2, 2018

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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.

October 2, 2018

James C. Christie Attends AsiaFruit Congress in Hong Kong

Company News 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.

September 18, 2018

Matt Lantz Speaks to Kenyan Farmers in Nairobi

Company News 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.

September 12, 2018

BCI Attends "Women Changing The World Mixer"

Company News 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.

August 20, 2018

Matt Lantz Speaks at American Chemical Society Conference

Company News 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. 

August 6, 2018

BCI Staff Tour California Fruit Packing Operation

Company News 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.

July 20, 2018

Michael Bowen Joins BCI's Technology Team

Company News July 20, 2018

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ( 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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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