The USDA has announced the designation of 14 additional biobased product categories which are eligible for federal procurement preference. The agency’s BioPreferred program’s Round 7 finalization adds 2,500 biobased products for a total of more than 8,900 products now offered for preferred purchasing consideration by federal government agencies and contractors.
“This is an important milestone as increasing bioproduct demand and use helps create jobs in rural communities and adds value to agricultural commodities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “According to a recent Iowa State Universitystudy, survey respondents from the biobased product industry reported more than 100,000 jobs—largely domestic—associated with their biobased product lines.”
The final rule, published in the Federal Register on July 22, is part of a series of rules to designate biobased items. The new product categories designated under Round 7 include: animal repellent; bath products; bioremediation materials; compost activators and accelerators; concrete and asphalt cleaners; cuts, burns and abrasions ointments; dishwashing products; erosion control materials; floor cleaners and protectors; hair care products such as conditioners and shampoos; interior paints and coatings such as latex and waterborne alkyd and oil-based and solvent-born alkyd; oven and grill cleaners; slide way lubricants; and thermal shipping containers—durable and thermal shipping containers as well as non-durable.
Biobased products are composed wholly, or significantly, of biological ingredients -- renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. A BioPreferred designated item is one that meets or exceeds USDA-established minimum biobased content requirements.
The BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 farm bill as a preferred procurement program for federal agencies and a voluntary labeling program for broad scale marketing of biobased products.