Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of
the BioPreferred program is to increase the purchase and use of
The BioPreferred program was created by the
2002 Farm Bill
and reauthorized and expanded as part of the
Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 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:
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. For more
information, please click here.
Federal law, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and Presidential
Executive Orders direct that all federal agencies purchase biobased
products in categories identified by the Department of Agriculture
(USDA). To date, USDA has identified
(e.g. cleaners, carpet, lubricants, paints) of biobased products for
which agencies and their contractors have purchasing requirements.
Each mandatory purchasing category specifies the minimum biobased content
for products within the category. The BioPreferred program provides
acquisition tools, the
BioPreferred Catalog and
to assist in meeting biobased purchasing requirements.
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
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.
Biobased products are derived from plants and other
marine, and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional
petroleum derived products. Biobased products include diverse categories such as
lubricants, cleaning products, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. For purposes of the
BioPreferred program, biobased products do not include food, animal feed, or fuel.