The U.S. Standards of Identity state that Rum must be made from sugar cane, sugar cane syrup (juice) or sugar cane by product (molasses) . Whether it is called Rhum or rum or Ron- French, English or Spanish. Until recently cachaca fell into the rum designation. Brazil argued and won the category separation, though by process it is a cane juice Rum not that unlike Martinique or Haitian Rhum Agrigole (which still falls under the overall rum designation). Based on distillation methods, temperature and so forth and the distillation proof you will get higher levels or lower levels of flavor (congeners). As sugar cane is a grass by species, when distilled at lower proofs you get that herbaceous , grassy flavors. Molasses based runs provide a different taste profile!
Rhum Agricole – rum from Martinique and other French areas – is very close to artisanal Cachaça. The main differences could be: estates, distillation proof (higher for agricoles), types of columns (sometimes potstills for cachaça).
In Brazil you can only call it cachaça if it was made in Brazil.