Purpose of the Label

The Voluntary Labeling Initiative assures a consumer that a product or package contains a certified amount of biobased ingredients. Consumers can trust the label to mean what it says because the manufacturer's claims regarding the presence and the amount of biobased ingredients are third-party tested and verified and strictly monitored by USDA.

The goal of the Voluntary Labeling Initiative 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.

Biobased
Containing renewable plant, marine, and forestry-based resources not derived from petroleum.
Biobased Content
A ratio of a product's new organic carbon to total organic carbon, as measured by a standard test method (ASTM D6866). Biobased content is expressed as a percentage. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon (which originates from petroleum). The presence of new organic carbon is an important attribute in a product's sustainability footprint.
Biobased Products
Biobased Products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Biobased products generally provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products and include a diverse range of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics.
Percent Biobased Content
The ratio of new organic carbon to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon, which originates from petroleum.
Qualified Biobased Product
Meets the requirements for one or more product categories identified by USDA as part of the federal government procurement preference program.
Renewable
An inexhaustible resource, readily replaced. In the context of biobased products, renewable resources includes agricultural, forestry, and marine resources such as algae.
USDA Certified Biobased Product
Has achieved third-party verification of biobased content and has earned USDA certification and approval to display the label.