Agricultural, environmental, national security and consumer leaders created the new
Biobased products include a broad range of items made from farm-based materials, including industrial oils and lubricants, carpet, ceiling tiles, cups and bowls for eating and drinking, printing ink, and building insulation. Use of these and other biobased products increases demand for agricultural materials while displacing large amounts of foreign oil needed to produce petroleum products.
The coalition formed includes a diverse array of groups such as the National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Consumers Federation of America, National Farmers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Set America Free Coalition and many more. Its goal is to help facilitate increased purchasing of biobased products by the federal government and encourage greater use of biobased products in general.
"I'm thrilled to have widespread support to make increased purchase of biobased items a reality," says Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who co-authored the biobased provisions of the 2002 farm bill. "This broad coalition shows the tangible and far reaching benefits biobased products will have for the
In March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its final rule designating the first six items to which federal agencies must give special consideration when making purchases. Federal agencies are required, with some exceptions, to purchase these biobased products within designated categories no later than
According to the ABE, while the final rule is a positive step forward, a lot of work with the administration and Congress still needs to be done to put into effect the requirement that all federal agencies buy biobased products. The coalition believes implementation is critical if the federal government is to shift its estimated $400 billion in annual purchasing from petroleum-based to biobased products.
The alliance insists the implementation has tremendous potential for a multiplier effect. "The federal government can lead by example, so state and local governments and the general public can make use of biobased products. The federal government's blazed the marketplace trail for