USDA Proposes Designation Of 12 New Biobased Product Categories

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the proposed addition of 12 biobased product categories to become eligible for Federal procurement preference. Once the proposed rule is finalized, more than 2,300 additional biobased products will be offered for preferred purchasing consideration by all Federal government agencies and contractors. Today’s proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

“President Obama has directed the federal government to take decisive steps to dramatically increase the purchase of biobased products over the next two years, which will create jobs and drive innovation where biobased products are grown and manufactured,” said Vilsack. “With these 12 additional categories, more than 2,300 biobased products will be available for government procurement and USDA will have increased the number of designated categories by 39 percent overall since the issuance of the President’s memorandum. When procuring agencies buy biobased products they are helping their organizations increase energy security and independence, spur economic development, and improve our environment.”

Today’s proposed rule designates the following biobased products for preferred Federal procurement:

  • agricultural spray adjuvants
  • animal cleaning products
  • deodorants
  • dethatcher products
  • fuel conditioners
  • leather, vinyl, and rubber care products
  • lotions and moisturizers
  • shaving Products
  • specialty precision cleaners and solvents
  • sun care products
  • wastewater systems coatings
  • water clarifying agents

The proposed rule will be out for public comment for 60 days and can be read here. Comments will be considered and incorporated, and a final rule will be publicized shortly thereafter.

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.

BioPreferred is comprised of a preferred procurement program for Federal agencies and a voluntary labeling program for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products (under development). Please contact biopreferred@usda.gov for more information about the Round 9 final rule or the BioPreferred program.

A complete list and detailed description of each BioPreferred designated item, and items for future designation, can be found here; or follow BioPreferred on Twitter.

Creating new markets for the nation’s agricultural products through biobased manufacturing is one of the many steps the Administration has taken over the past three years to strengthen the rural economy. Since August 2011, the White House Rural Council has supported a broad spectrum of rural initiatives including a Presidential Memorandum to create jobs in rural America through biobased and sustainable product procurement, a $350 million commitment in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years, launching a series of conferences to connect investors with rural start-ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural and making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide.

Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

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