United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Bio-Based Product Industry
B2B and B2C
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. The BioPreferred Program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized and expanded as part of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). The Program’s purpose is to spur economic development, create new jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities. The increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products reduces our nation’s reliance on petroleum, increases the use of renewable agricultural resources, and contributes to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.
The two major parts of the Program are:
- mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and their contractors; and,
- a voluntary labeling initiative for biobased products.
While the BioPreferred Program does not provide financial support for its participants, USDA’s Rural Development agency offers loan and grant programs that may be applicable.
As consumers consider purchasing options with sustainable attributes, USDA wants to make it easy for consumers to identify biobased products. The USDA Certified Biobased Product label, displayed on a product certified by USDA, is designed to provide useful information to consumers about the biobased content of the product.
A business with a biobased product that meets USDA criteria may apply for certification, allowing them to display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label on the product. This label assures a consumer that the product contains a verified amount of renewable biological ingredients (referred to as biobased content). Consumers can trust the label to mean what it says because manufacturer’s claims concerning the biobased content are third-party certified and strictly monitored by USDA.