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Biobased Markets Program (BioPreferred)

Establishing a process to determine criteria for Federal purchase of biobased products

Program Summary
Authorized under section 9002 of the 2008 Farm Bill, the BioPreferred Program (formerly the Federal Biobased Procurement Program) establishes a process for determining eligibility criteria for Federal purchase of biobased products.

The BioPreferred Program requires every Federal agency to give a procurement preference to designated items composed of biobased products unless those items (1) are not reasonably available, (2) do not perform adequately, or (3) are not reasonably priced.

USDA's goal is to increase Federal procurement of biobased products government-wide and develop government and the public markets through a voluntary labeling program. USDA tests and evaluates biobased products and designates items for preferred federal procurement.

Through published regulations, USDA has designated a total of 33 biobased items or product categories representing nearly 3,000 individual products.

Biobased products include cleaners, lubricants, building materials, insulation, roof coatings, fuel additives, and a host of other sustainable industrial materials made from agricultural commodities that the Federal government can use. Investigation is under way to develop additional rules for Federal agency procurement.

Application and Financial Information
As of this printing, the USDA is currently in the process of collecting biobased product information. This information aids in the creation of designations for the procurement of biobased products by the federal government. Products may only be listed in the catalog once their designations have been finalized. You may register your company with the BioPreferred program and then submit products to be listed in the Biobased Products Catalog found on the BioPreferred website.

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) provided $1 million for FY 2008 and will provide $2 million annually for FY2009-12 for testing and labeling of biobased products. An additional $2 million may be provided annually for FY 2010-12.

Eligibility, Uses, and Restrictions
Biobased products, according to the Secretary of Agriculture are commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) composed in whole or large part of renewable domestic agricultural or forestry materials, or an intermediate ingredient or feedstock including plant, animal, and marine materials. The program now adds heating oil as an excluded category.

USDA has developed a series of BioPreferred tools, such as model contract language, to assist Federal agencies and the business community in the implementation of the program. Most of these tools are available at the BioPreferred website (

USDA is also in the process of developing a labeling program for the general public to encourage use of the products beyond Federal government procurement.


Contact Information
Ron Buckhalt, Manager, BioPreferred Program
Phone: (202)205-4008

Last Updated January 26, 2010

Please note: Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities is also available for download in PDF format.

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