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US Hop Industry Plant Protection Committee and International Harmonization

December 10, 2018

The US Hop Industry Plant Protection Committee (USHIPPC) was formed in 1988  to coordinate plant protection issues and pesticide registration efforts on behalf of hop growers in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  At the time, growers had experienced registration cancellations and resistance development that left them with a very limited plant protection toolbox.  The committee is guided by 8 voting members, with 2 representing each of the three state hop commissions and 2 representing Hop Growers of America.  Current members include John Solt, Chair and Michelle Gooding (Idaho), Cheyne Fobert and Alexa Weathers (Oregon), Patrick Smith and Andrew Jaques (Washington), Kyle Shinn and Jared Favilla (representing HGA).  In addition, representatives of eight hop merchant-processor companies who provide financial support serve on the committee, which meets twice annually (at the American Hop Convention and in conjunction with the HRC Summer Meeting).  Ann George has administered the committee and its programs since its inception.

 

The initial goal of seeking new registrations for hop plant protection products was expanded in 1992 with the launch of the International Harmonization program.  At the time merchants, processors and brewers were starting to encounter barriers to shipments of hops containing residues that were not covered by MRLs (maximum residue limits or tolerances) in the recipient country.  The decision was made to contract with Bryant Christie Inc., a Seattle-based technical consulting firm specializing in international regulatory issues, phytosanitary barriers to trade and harmonizing global pesticide MRLs.  Our contract with BCI has continued for 27 years, with the program expanding from initial focus on the European Union, Canada, Japan, and Codex (international standards developed under the World Health Organization) to its current ongoing efforts in 11 countries.  A key component is the Hop MRL Tracking Chart, which is updated monthly and tracks MRLs in these 11 markets.  Matt Lantz, BCI’s Vice President, Global Access, is a familiar face at hop industry meetings and the annual Hop Convention. 

 

USHIPPC’s efforts are funded with annual contributions from the Washington, Oregon and Idaho Hop Commissions, along with contributions from several hop merchants/processors – currently including John I. Haas, S.S. Steiner, Yakima Chief, Kalsec, Crosby Hop Farms, Roy Farms, Hollingbery & Son, and BSG Hops.  Grants from several sources, including EPA, USDA Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops, Western IPM Center, Specialty Crop Block Grant Programs, and pesticide registrant companies have helped provide funding for concentrated efforts in specific markets or to produce necessary data packages to support import tolerance requests.  Most of our domestic registration projects for new products are supported by the IR-4 Program.  In July 2018 the German Hop Growers Association and German Hop Merchants formally joined the International Harmonization effort, now contributing half of the contract for Bryant Christie’s base program, which was expanded to include German priorities as well as those of the US hop industry. 

 

In addition to managing domestic registration priorities and international harmonization efforts for the US hop industry, the committee has also represented the hop industry on specific plant protection and international regulatory issues over the years, communicating directly with EPA, Congress, US Embassies and Consulates as needed.  To further the collaboration of USHIPPC and US hop plant protection researchers with colleagues in Europe, Ann George and Matt Lantz also serve as members of the European Union Commodity Expert Group for Hops, ensuring excellent communications on priorities and research plans/results.  Recognizing the importance of international harmonization of regulations impacting the shipment of hops, the IHGC established its Regulatory Harmonization Commission in 2014.  Ann George chairs this standing committee.

 

For more information contact Ann George, ageorge@wahops.org


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Hop Growers of America

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