USDA's BioPreferred Program continues to grow

USDA's BioPreferred Program continues to grow

As of December 2015, more than 2,500 products in 100 different product categories have been certified through USDA's BioPreferred Program.

Tide PurClean is the latest product to be “certified biobased” through USDA’s BioPreferred Program.

As of December 2015, more than 2,500 products in 100 different product categories have been certified through the program.

What is the BioPreferred Program?

The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that aims to assist in the development and expansion of markets for biobased products and reduce our nation’s dependence on petroleum. The program was created by the 2002 farm bill, and expanded as part of the 2014 farm bill.

USDA's BioPreferred Program continues to grow. (Photo: Qingwa/Thinkstock)

BioPreferred is transforming the marketplace for biobased products through mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and federal contractors, and voluntary product certification and labeling.

What are biobased products and what sort of products are included in the BioPreferred Program's definition?

Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Biobased products provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products and include a diverse range of offerings such as construction, janitorial and grounds-keeping products.

Biobased products also include biobased intermediate or 'upstream' materials such as bioresins or biopolymers, or the biobased/renewable chemicals used to create commercial, industrial or consumer goods. Biobased products, from a BioPreferred Program perspective, do not include fuels, food, or animal feed. Visit the product catalog at to see a list.

What is the purpose of the USDA Certified Biobased Product label?

The USDA Certified Biobased Product label is designed to provide useful information to consumers about the biobased content of the product. The label assures a consumer that the product contains a USDA-verified amount of renewable biological ingredients.

What are the benefits of biobased products?

Biobased products provide all the benefits as conventional products: they are cost- comparative, readily available (made by small companies and large corporations), and perform as well or better than their petroleum-containing counterparts.

How do biobased products benefit the environment?

Biobased products displace around 300 million gallons of petroleum per year in the U.S., which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the road.

Do biobased products help the economy?

According to a report USDA released in June 2015, the biobased economy contributes a total $369 billion to the U.S. economy each year while 4 million jobs were supported, directly and indirectly, by the biobased economy.

What are the criteria used to earn USDA Certified Biobased Product label?

Products need to meet a minimum biobased content set by USDA. The manufacturers of these products must test the biobased content at an independent, third party laboratory.

How do I know if I am purchasing a USDA Certified Biobased Product?

Look for the label featuring USDA on the product or package.

To learn more about USDA's BioPreferred Program and what it means to be certified biobased, visit

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