Activity Update

January 2019 – April 9, 2019


  1. Strategic Plan

    1. Beginning to work on new measurable goals

  2. Regulatory

    1. EPA/FDA

      1. Presented to EPA/FDA Representative at CropLife Conference in D.C. on Tea Association activities and our successes in getting MRL’s established for tea.

      2. New personnel at EPA for Pilot Program and Minor Use. I have reached out and made contact with Nancy Fitz.

    2. Tolerances

      1. MRL approvals have been continuously updated and sent to the Membership. The latest is version 53, noting new MRL’s and new compounds submitted to EPA.

      2. Registrant

        1. Hexythiazox application sent in to EPA.

          1. USTA has applied for Small Business Waiver, saving some $50,000

        2. Imidacloprid remains in the EPA work plan, but is overdue.

        3. Priority List is updated as new information comes through from origins and Codex.

        4. CropLife – The Food & Beverage Committee continues to be very helpful in gaining contacts within chemical manufacturers as well as providing resources and contacts within EPA. I recently spoke at CLA & Rise Regulatory Conference.

      3. Pesticide Summit

        1. Dates for our Pesticide Summit in 2019 have been confirmed

          1. September 16, immediately preceding the N.A. Tea Conference in Miami, Florida.

      4. Harmonization

        1. Harmonization continues to be discussed and is becoming a more visible topic at FAO; however, this will not happen in my lifetime!

        2. We continue to work well with the Canadian Tea Association and now the UK Tea and Infusions Association. New personnel are dynamic and are keen to work together.

    3. FSMA

      1. Inspections have taken place at member sites and we have advised several members on inspector questions and interpretations. FDA has indicated that all these sessions are being treated as learning opportunities and inspectors have been open to suggestions.

      2. BTA

        1. BTA registrations continue ahead of last year and budget in both number and $’s.

  3. Guidelines

    1. Technical

      1. Responded to and/or developed positions for

        1. Esophageal Cancer

        2. Lung Cancer

        3. Heavy Metals (Lead)

        4. Prop 65

        5. Natural

        6. Country of Origin Labeling

        7. HTIS classifications

        8. Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid concerns

    2. Transportation and Systems

        1. Transportation and Systems committee to review/revise our recommendations for raw tea transport.

    3. Safety protocols

        1. Provided our recommendations for Supply Chain safety protocols to members

    4. Inquiries on Industry efforts re: Climate Change and how origins are responding.

  4. Membership

    1. USTA Member Gaps

      1. Continue to seek out new members and retain existing

      2. Roadshow Presentation updated and presented

    2. N. A. Tea Conference

      1. Contract signed for Miami

      2. Speakers confirmed

      3. Producers & Packers breakfast topics being developed. Will include section on climate change.

    3. Tea Council

      1. All Dues have been received.

      2. Attended Indus Food Conference in Delhi representing US Tea industry

  5. Education

    1. STI

      1. Efforts to bring as many courses to NYC as possible continue in order to control costs.

      2. All off-site storage now in NYC offices

      3. SCA courses taking place in April in Boston.

      4. Trip to China included 8 STI members and went very well. Excellent SM response.

      5. Preparing presentation for WTE conference.


  1. Communication

    1. Social Media

      1. Continuing to use SM to drive interest for both members and general public

      2. Hot Tea Month responses were high

      3. IndividualiTea responses more than doubled last year’s entrants with equivalent increase in photos

      4. Recently participated in CharityBuzz, a fund-raising mechanism for Charity. In this case, supporting Ethiopian girls through education. A tea tasting in our offices was auctioned, realizing $1,100. Social media is being used to spotlight both this event and USTA/STI/Council

    2. Tea & Health

      1. Continuing to monitor and promote

      2. DGAC submission

      3. Meta-Analysis completed



    1. Promoting USTA as Tea Expert

      1. USTA continues to respond to any misinformation that it detects, e.g., current publications / headlines on Esophageal Cancer and Lung Cancer mentioning tea.

      2. Attended 3rd Annual Black Tea Conference in Yibin China and 1st Green Tea Conference in Huangzhou, speaking about the US trade at both venues.

    2. NCA Webinar on Tea & Health in March

  1. Talent & Staffing

    1. Office Team

      1. Staff optimization continues.

      2. Office Overheads constantly reviewed.