Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday announced that the USDA has designated eight new biobased product categories for preferred Federal procurement.
The announcement follows up on goals designed to increase rural job creation through procurement of biobased products and increase the number of biobased product categories and individual products eligible for preferred purchasing.
USDA has designated the following new categories: aircraft and boat cleaners; automotive care products, engine crankcase oil; gasoline fuel additives; metal cleaners and corrosion removers; microbial cleaning products; paint removers; and water turbine bearing oils.
Biobased products are composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients in new or emerging markets– renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. A BioPreferred designated item is one that meets or exceeds USDA-established minimum biobased content requirements.
There are now 97 designated categories representing approximately 10,000 unique types of products.
"Every day, companies across the nation are creating incredible new products from crops grown here at home, expanding markets for agriculture and growing job opportunities in rural America," said Vilsack.
The Biopreferred Program also has reopened the web portal for companies to apply for the voluntary USDA Certified Biobased Product label. Thus far about 900 individual products have received the USDA Certified Biobased Product label.
Later this year the BioPreferred program is expected to finalize a rule that will extend to designating intermediate ingredients so products made from them could be part of the preferred Federal procurement process. That regulation would also allow for the designation of complex assemblies that contain one or more components from biobased ingredients.
The Biopreferred Program was authorized in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills. Visit http://www.biopreferred.gov for more information.