GeoSpotlight: Locations, Places or Origin

How a schoolyard game became a household name

Once upon a time in 1823 at the Rugby School in Warwickshire, England a little game between classmates in boarding school turned into one of the world’s most popular sports. Throughout the sport’s near 200-year history, the popularity has spread internationally earning its rightful place in the Olympics. In addition, the Rugby World Cup captures the world’s attention, with over a third of the global population tuning in to watch the final match in 2015.


Learn more:

Where does rugby come from?


White Wedding Dress: Silk, Lace, Satin, But Mostly White

Pristine, white, fairy-tale wedding dresses were not the Western standard until relatively recently. Before, colored dresses (with fur and jewels for the novelty) were the norm for brides of all classes in Europe. While a few historic women wore white gowns to the altar over the centuries, it was not until Queen Victoria debuted a white silk-spun gown at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840 that the look really took root.


Learn more:

Why Do Brides Traditionally Wear White? You Can Thank Queen Victoria

Why so many brides wear white on their wedding day

The 8 Major Trends of the Spring 2020 Bridal Season

Cherry Blossoms: The Colorful History of Pink Flurries

Widely known as the symbol of Japan, the cherry blossoms enchant the world with its pale-pink showers of petals and are celebrated every Spring. The trees were even gifted as a diplomatic gesture, such as the U.S. importing 3,020 cherry blossom trees to Washington D.C. in March 1912 under the supervision of first lady Helen Taft, when President William Taft saw an opportunity to not only beautify the capital city as imagined by his predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, but also forge a friendship with the Japanese government. Whether in Japan or U.S. or anywhere in between, grab a picnic basket to enjoy the fleeting moment of cherry blossoms.


Learn more:

The Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in 2019 - and When to Plan Your Trip

The Colorful History of Washington's Cherry Blossoms

The Cherry Blossoms Are Peak Washington. Here's How They Got Here.


Cashmere: The Luxury Woven for Few

Costing roughly $114 for a pound of yarn, cashmere is no less than one of the rarest natural fibers in the world from the soft undercoat of goats living in the Gobi desert. While the costly production process and scarcity are the main reasons behind the price tag, its soft, weightless quality of warmth adds the luxe.


Please visit the following sites for additional information:

How Your Cashmere Is Made

Why Is Cashmere More Expensive Than Other Kinds of Wool?


Turkey: The magical history of Turkish Delight

These beloved small, soft, chewy-cubed sweet treats have evolved with new ingredients, such as ginger or mint-infused delights, and offer generations of Turkish women opportunities in a landscape where traditionally it is unusual for women to run business. The treats, ‘Lokum’ translated from Arabic, mean “comforting the throat” and was used to reduce tonsilitis, and have been loved by Turks and people around the world for centuries.


Please visit the following sites for additional information:

The secret story behind Turkish delight

Aplets & Cotlets imported from Turkey?

Demark: Local Food Movement Feeds Eco-friendly Tourism

The Danish parliament adopted the New Nordic Food Manifesto, followed by a $4.6 million investment over 4 years into training gourmet chefs, health programs, sustainable production and reducing food waste to see job growth in tourism and agriculture. The investments seeks to consolidate Denmark’s status as a global leader is gastronomy and shed light on food and climate change in relationship to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, increasing the region’s suitability for eco-friendly travel.


Please visit the following sites for additional information:

New Nordic Trend: Shifting towards plant-based diet

Denmark announces tasty investment in gastronomy


Brazil: Largest coffee exporter for over 150 years and growing

Recent two year program renewal between the Brazilian Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investments (Apex-Brasil) and the Brazilian Association of Special Coffees (BSCA) will focus on establishing the identity of Brazilian origin specialty coffee in markets outside of US and Europe. Despite a near 30 percent crop loss due to insects, total production is still expected to grow 29.1 percent in the 2018/2019 harvest as a result of improved field technologies and good climate conditions, almost doubling the average production growth of 15 percent in past decade. The resilient growth of the industry is promising in the midst of the worst economic crisis the country has seen, coupled with strong cultural ties to coffee within the country, where Brazil also remains the largest coffee consumer in the world since surpassing the US in 2014.


Please visit the following sites for additional information:

‘Brazil. The Coffee Nation’: Establishing an image as the global coffee leader

Brazilian coffee crop could reach nearly 60 million bags

Brazil expecting a boom in Arabica coffee production in 2018

Brazilian Coffee Market: Steady Growth Amid Economic Crisis


The Ivory Coast, also referred to as Cote d'Ivoire, is responsible for the majority of global cocoa output.  Located in West Africa, The Ivory Coast is the 83rd largest export economy with cocoa beans, paste, butter, and powder making up approximately 4.85 billon dollars of their total exports annually and cocoa beans and paste alone making up nearly 50% of annual exports. However, in 2018 the Ivory Coast’s Coffee and Cocoa Council has decided to suspend programs that boost cocoa output within this region. Goals associated with suspending high levels of production are centered around limiting oversupply, limiting the spread of diseases and viruses, and working to economically benefit this region. This leaves questions of who will be the largest cocoa supplier in upcoming seasons?

Please visit the following sites for additional information:

Ivory Coast works to reduce cocoa output 

Cote d'Ivoire


Argan oil is an oil extracted from the kernels of argan fruit, native to Morocco. This product is typically used for consumption, pharmaceuticals, and beauty products, and is rising in popularity due to an increase of awareness and recent preferences for naturally sourced products amongst consumers. However, many companies are now capitalizing on these trends and producing their own argan and Moroccan oil products, although not entirely authentic. Production commonly includes a minor amount of the actual resource, in addition to many other mainstream ingredients used in other products. However, the argan oil market is growing in terms of revenue generated from sales, and researchers forecast the market to experience a compound annual growth rate of 20.03% from 2018-2022. 


Please visit the following sites for additional information:

Global Argan Oil 2018-2022

Argan Oil Market New Entrants, Competitive Scenario, & Forecast

Morocco's Argan Oil Industry 

Cinco de Mayo Heartbreak

An Agave shortage in the heart of Mexico is a shot to this year’s Margarita-centric holiday. As we approach Cinco de Mayo, many top tequila producers and their clients are getting worried. In the heartland of the tequila industry, Jalisco, Mexico, a worsening shortage of agave is causing the price of the plant to increase at a rapid rate. Agave is the key ingredient to make the incredibly popular tequila. Be warned, this year's Cinco de Mayo you may need to find an alternative! 



Please visit the following sites for additional information:


The World is Facing a Tequila Shortage

Tequila Shortage on the Horizon 

Keep Austin Weird

The slogan is a clear call for residents to support local businesses and say no to big corporations. It supports small businesses, creative and everything indie. It has been adopted by eccentric and creative "Austinites" and small businesses. The motto has become one of the cities identities and transformed the culture in Austin. This movement has spread to many other cities, such as Portland and Santa Cruz, promoting similar campaigns.


Here are a list of resources with additional information:

PRI Manuka Honey: The First is Always the Best

Thanks to the rapidly-growing popularity of Manuka Honey, millions of people in the Western world now know what New Zealand natives have known for centuries - Manuka honey adds life, purity and natural goodness to everything it touches.


Yet with recent headlines that some New Zealand Manuka Honey brands are misleading consumers, authenticity is more important than ever. That’s why we say the first is always the best: Some 32 years ago, Pacific Resources International (PRI) was the very first to introduce American consumers to the bountiful health and culinary wonders of authentic UMF certified, Non-GMO New Zealand Manuka honey. Today, the company offers a wide range of Manuka Honey products, including Chocolates, Caramels and Nuggets, as well as pure Pacific Sea Salt from the still-pristine waters off New Zealand.


Committed from day one to providing the very finest and most authentic Manuka Honey possible, PRI already meets and exceeds many of the New Zealand’s new labeling requirements and is the only U.S. provider that supplies a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from independent labs for every jar of Manuka it imports from New Zealand.

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Biltong: A Taste of South Africa

Here's how to get Americans to eat biltong, a South African dried meat delicacy that is vastly superior to American jerky. Add a little marketing magic to the ingredients and call it a "hand crafted protein snack." Of course, you need to use "artisan grass-fed beef." Do not add any sugar, nitrates, gluten or soy. And make sure it comes in re-sealable plastic bags. Cleverly marketed to weekend warriors by Biltong Brand LLC in Irvine, California.

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Reyka Vodka of Iceland

Reyka Vodka is an Icelandic vodka that is the world's first "green" vodka. It is made from glacial water and is distilled using sustainable energy from geothermal heat. The marketing for Reyka draws heavily on Iceland's reputation for purity and uniqueness. The word "Reyka" derives from the Icelandic word for steam.The vodka is handmade and uses water drawn from a lava field forgoing the need of treatment or demineralisation before it is blended with the vodka.

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Wines of Argentina

Wines of Argentina is the organization that, since 1993, promotes the Argentine wine brand and image worldwide, spreading knowledge of the winemaking regions of Argentina. In addition, WofA contributes to direct the country's export strategy by studying and analyzing changing trends in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers.

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Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA)

UNICA’s mission is to play a leading role in the consolidation of the Brazilian sugarcane industry as a modern agro-industrial complex equipped to compete sustainably in Brazil and around the world. Created in 1997, UNICA is the largest organization in Brazil representing sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity producers and answers for more than 50 percent of all ethanol produced in Brazil and 60 percent of overall sugar production.

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Specialty Coffee Association of Panama

The Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP) in a non-profit organization created to promote Panama’s special coffee production in the world. SCAP members share a passion for coffee and a strong commitment with the pursue of ultimate quality.

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India Tea Association

Founded in 1881, the Indian Tea Association (ITA) is the premier and oldest association of tea producers in India. ITA, since its inception, has remained the principal advisory and supervisory body in the tea industry. Initially set up to promote orderly growth and collective thinking in Tea, ITA has evolved into a forward-thinking organization, incisively reading industry trends, encouraging innovative thought, and benchmarking best practices and their adoption in the industry. 

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CHOCOSUISSE is where the Swiss chocolate industry comes together for representational purposes. Its membership is comprised of 18 companies involved in the industrial manufacture of chocolate and chocolate products, as well as the largest importers of finished products.

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The Cheeses of France Marketing Council

The Cheeses of France Marketing Council is composed of French dairy farmers and cheese firms and is led by the French Dairy Inter-Branch Organization (CNIEL). The council’s mission is to create awareness about the variety of the cheeses of France available in the US market and the multiple ways that American consumers can incorporate the cheeses into their diets, their recipes and their lifestyles.

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Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of the Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its mission is to maximize demand for Florida citrus products in order to ensure the sustainability and economic well-being of the Florida citrus grower, the citrus industry and the State of Florida.

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Avocados from Peru

The Peruvian Avocado Commission (PAC) has launched an unprecedented combination of trade and consumer marketing programs to support the largest Peruvian avocado crop ever exported to the United States. Over 130 million pounds of Avocados from Peru are projected to arrive in the U.S. during the summer months of June to September – an increase of 120% over 2013.

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Hawaii Coffee Association

The Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) was formed in 1995 to bring together all facets of the Hawaii Coffee Industry - Growers, Processors, Roasters, Wholesalers, and Retailers.

HCA’s purpose is to educate, increase awareness, promote research, and promote consumption of Hawaiian coffees. HCA provides a forum to encourage participation and promote development in all areas of the coffee industry and to actively promote positive coffee legislation.

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California Grapes

As a full service export specialist for the California Wine Industry, “CGI” understands the complex series of challenges involved with not only finding buyers and making the wine export compliant but, the education, marketing and promoting of those wines once they arrive.


As the evolution of wine making continues to produce better and more diverse products, so has the demand from these products become greater and more diverse! Wine grapes are grown in every major country in the world and account for an estimated 10,000 different varietals. Every bottle of wine produced from these grapes represents a unique and distinct reflection of the history, experience, expertise, personality and style of the individual wine maker and winery behind them.

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The European Glass Federation

Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Brussels, FEVE is an international not-for-profit association, which currently numbers over 60 company members and 22 corporate groups across the European Union, Switzerland and Turkey.

FEVE is the official voice of the glass container industry at European level. It promotes the common interests of its members throughout Europe and is actively engaged in dialogue with European stakeholders and NGOs.


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National Cotton Council

The National Cotton Council of America's mission is to ensure the ability of all U.S. cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.


producers • ginners • warehousers • merchants

cottonseed • cooperatives • manufacturers


The Council serves as the central forum for consensus-building among producers, ginners, warehousers, merchants, cottonseed processors/dealers, cooperatives and textile manufacturers. The organization is the unifying force in working with the government to ensure that cotton's interests are considered.


The Council's mission and objectives are carried out with the help of democratically-developed policy. Annual policymaking is initiated through recommendations generated by the Council's six program committees.



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US Dry Bean Council

The USDBC is a private trade association comprised of leaders in the bean industry with the common goal of promoting the U.S. edible bean trade, both in the United States and abroad, and educating U.S. consumers about the benefits of beans. The USDBC gives a voice to the bean industry and provides information to consumers, health professionals, buyers, suppliers and the media about the good taste, nutritional value and versatility of beans.

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North Carolina Peach Growers Association

The North Carolina Peach Growers’ Society supports improvements in all aspects of peach production through research at NC State University, and helps growers expand their local markets with support from Cooperative Extension and the Department of Agriculture.

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Florida Strawberries

In 1982, the Florida Strawberry Growers Association (FSGA) was officially formed to become the voice for Florida strawberry growers. The mission for the handful of farmers was to become “partners in research, promotion and member/community service”.

In the years since then, the growers have met that mission and succeeded in forming a voluntary organization that supports over 10,000 acres of berries. But most impressive is the fact that although production in this strawberry community has been going strong for over a century, the value of the commodity has more than tripled in the last two decades, and could well double in the next decade. If anything, the community’s claim as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World” seems stronger.

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Charity:Water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. When the charity was started: water, a bold promise was made to the general public — 100% of donations would go directly to the field to fund water projects. Credit card fees are even reimbused when donations are made online.


Charity:Water depends on private donors, foundations and sponsors to cover everything from staff salaries to basic office systems to office rent and supplies. These donors are some of the most dedicated: their investment fuels our long-term mission, the ability to scale as an organization and the mission to continue using 100% of public donations for water projects.

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The European Coffee Federation

The European Coffee Federation (ECF) represents the European green coffee trade, coffee roasting industry, soluble coffee manufacturers and decaffeinators.

It was founded in 1981 to represent the joint interests of the coffee trade and roasting industry. The companies affiliated to the ECF represent a total import volume of about 40 million bags, or half of the world trade volume. Its main body is the Council which consists of all members. All major policy decisions are taken on this level. The day-to-day management is in the hands of the ECF Executive Committee. The ECF has a number of committees and working groups to discuss specific topics. It is involved in a wide range of issues, ranging from transport and logistics to terminal market matters and from standard coffee contracts to sustainable agriculture.

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Ontario Maple Syrup

The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association (OMSPA) is a producer based organization formed in 1966 to represent maple syrup producers across the province. As a producer organization, OMSPA is committed to promoting the production of high quality maple products using the best available management practices. OMSPA represents a long history of sugar making in the province and are proud to carry on with the traditions associated with one of nature’s greatest natural sweeteners – the making of maple syrup when the sap begins to flow.

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Maine Lobster

Maine lobster has been harvested along the Maine coast for generations; however, it has not always been the highly esteemed seafood it is today. As times and tastes have evolved, Maine lobster has gained popularity on menus in many fine restaurants. In the 1840s, the value of the lobster catch increased, and Maine established its first commercial lobster fishery. Due to new innovations, by the 1880s the Maine lobster harvesters thrived, and Maine lobster began to make a name for itself.  

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Washington Apples

In 1937, the Washington State Apple Advertising Commission was created by an act of the Washington state legislature at the request of the apple industry, making it one of the oldest and largest commodity commissions in the United States. The primary purpose of the commission is advertising, promotion, education and marketing development for the Washington fresh apple crop. The most famous apple to grow in Washington state is the Red Delicious, which represents about 30 percent of the apples grown in state and accounts for 48 percent of apples exported to other countries. 

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California Avocados

Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) strives to increase demand for California Avocados and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 5,000 avocado growers. The CAC serves as the official information source for California Avocados and the California Avocado industry. Because of the unwavering belief in the quality of California Avocados, the CAC is dedicated to sharing information, promoting their product and supporting those who use, produce, sell and serve California Avocados. 

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Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing is the largest supplier of South African apples and pears. Most of Tru-Cape's fruit is grown in the southern fertile valleys of South Africa, in the Western Cape (around Elgin, Grabouw and Ceres) and in the Southern Cape (in the Langkloof).


Read more about Tru-Cape fruit marketing in an interview with Charles Hughes.

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New Zealand King Salmon

New Zealand King Salmon is well on its way to being the worldwide leader in the distribution of high-quality, great-tasting salmon products.

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SFMade is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, established in 2010 and headquartered in San Francisco. It is the only organization of its kind focused on building San Francisco’s economic base by developing the local manufacturing sector.

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Real California Milk

The CMAB aggressively promotes dairy products with generic advertising, utilizing print, radio, television, digital and outdoor media, in-store promotions and publicity. The Board believes that these techniques have contributed to increased visibility and sales of dairy products.

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The Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) is an executive agency of Florida government charged with the marketing, research and regulation of the Florida citrus industry. Its mission is to help grow the demand for Florida citrus products, providing a direct benefit to the citrus growers. The FDOC is governed by a nine-member board—the Florida Citrus Commission. The Governor of Florida appoints the Commission which is made up of citrus growers, processors and packers.

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Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW)

BMW is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1917. BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands. In 2010, the BMW group produced 1,481,253 automobiles and 112,271 motorcycles across all its brands.

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Good African

Good African's vision is to be a leading African agribusiness producing quality products for the global market and using trade to bring about sustainable community development.

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The London Tea Company

From a very small beginning in 2003, London Tea Company's reach is now worldwide. In those early days our tea and infusion blends reflected some of our tastes, a sort of wish list of the things we'd like to drink produced in the natural and ethical way we wanted. The range has changed since then, but our principals have not! Our business is based on combining both modern and traditional teas and other products with high-quality ideals.

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Russian Standard Vodka

Russian Standard vodkas are the finest expressions of traditional Russian vodka. Our vodkas are the No. 1 premium vodkas in Russia, recognized for their superbly smooth spirit and pure taste, which are derived from Dmitri Mendeleev’s classic formula for Russia’s Czars.

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Idaho - Grown in Idaho

To be sure you're getting genuine, top-quality Idaho Potatoes, look for the "Grown In Idaho" seal. Idaho's growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho Potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance. The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency with many responsibilities, including the promotion of Idaho Potatoes.

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