USDA Encourages Use of Biobased Products with BioPreferred

The USDA is making biobased products more easily accessible to procurement officials. As part of its BioPreferred program, USDA has designated six areas of biobased products for Federal procurement preference that will be included in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) with plans to designate up to 20 more.

Biobased products are those made from agricultural, forestry or marine materials and those included in the FAR will have minimum biobased content percentages.

“The new BioPreferred program will help increase the demand for biobased products, help reduce our dependence on petroleum, and help create value-added jobs in rural communities,” said Acting Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner. “This is part of the federal government’s focus on using renewable, sustainable resources.”

The BioPreferred program, managed by the USDA, requires federal buyers and their contractors to give preference to qualified biobased products. The program was enacted as part of the 2002 Farm Bill.

According to USDA research, more than 10,000 biobased products are commercially available for purchase. USDA rulemaking will seek to speed the qualification of as many of these products as possible for federal procurement preference.
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