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Pomegranates are Symbolic Even for Trade

Pomegranates figure prominently every Jewish New Year. Thanks to trade we can enjoy them nearly all year-round. But in order to continue enjoying a variety of foods – and sustain basic crop production – growers must have access to a variety of high-quality seeds.

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Peeling Away Trade Protections for Bananas

Simple in appearance, pleasantly sweet, nutritious, and nearly universal in appeal, that Cavendish bunch of bananas on your counter comes off as pretty unassuming. In reality, it has been through jungle wars and trade wars and now sits on the precipice of extinction. Growing to love more varieties could help save trade in bananas.

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Honey Bees Pollinate Trade Opportunities

Every February, two out of every three commercial bee hives in the United States are transported to California for the almond bloom. It’s just the start of an annual food pollinating bee tour. Anywhere from 60 to 75 percent of the bee population kept as livestock crisscross the United States foraging on the blooms of crops that will make eventually their way into our grocery stores and into overseas markets.

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India’s Tariffs Could Dent Gains From California’s Bumper Almond Crop

California almond growers have reason to worry about access to one of their biggest export markets. The Indian government increased tariffs on U.S. shelled almonds by 20 percent and non-shelled almonds by 17 percent in June. The increased cost is forecasted to cause a five percent drop in U.S. almond exports to India, impacting the 6,800 almond growers in California, who are mostly small to medium-size, family-run enterprises.

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Global Trade in Cannabis Could Bloom, Boosting U.S. Hemp Production

CBD is popping up in all types of new products from infused food and drink, to dietary supplements, lotions, oils, cosmetics and even pet treats. Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill may open up new avenues for U.S. farmers looking to cash in on growing demand for hemp-derived products, like trendy CBD. But U.S. farmers will have some catching up to do to compete in the global cannabis market.

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Water Scarcity Threatens Global Agriculture Trade

Over 70 percent of water consumed globally is poured into crop and livestock production. But the water we need to drink, to grow food, and to produce industrial goods is under stress and becoming scarcer in parts of the world. What kinds of solutions offer better opportunities for managing scarce water resources to ensure we can continue growing enough food?

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An Offal Lot of Exports: The Trade in Variety Meats

When it comes to variety meats, the best prices can typically be found in foreign countries where offal is more popular. International trade allows the U.S. meat industry to capitalize on differences in consumer preferences and maximize value.

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Cherry Blossom KitKats, Bubble Tea, and Pocky Sticks: Trade Spreads Asian Twist on Snacks

Cherry blossom, green tea, and red bean are popular flavors in Asia used in a wide variety of snack foods. The core ingredients of some of these snack foods were not native to Asia. But global trade spread access to non-native plants and ingredients, enabling other countries to put their own flavor spin on new products.

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Spicy Trade: U.S. and India Turn Up the Heat

Turmeric is the new “it” spice. While things are golden for trade in turmeric, less can be said for U.S.-India trade relations as a whole. Tensions have been heating up over the past few years, culminating in the recent announcement from the White House that India could soon be terminated from the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program.

Farmer collects arabica coffee beans at the plantation in Taizz, Yemen.

Trade and Conversation: A Book Review of the Monk of Mokha

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers, the miraculous true story of a young Yemeni-American man who grew up in one of San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods and overcame seemingly impossible obstacles to export coffee from Yemen in the midst of a raging civil war.