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November 19, 2019

BCI Moderates the Global Hop Summit in Brussels

Company News November 19, 2019

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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: http://www.bryantchristie.com/market-development

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

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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 (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

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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

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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.

 

May 1, 2018

BCI staff volunteer with IRC Women’s Empowerment Workshop

Company News May 1, 2018

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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