Governments Have More Biobased Options for Purchasing

Johanns proposes two rules under preferred procurement program to boost government's purchases of biobased products.

Biobased products got a boost Thursday when Ag Secretary Mike Johanns proposed two rules under the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program, a part of the last farm bill designed to spur growth in the biobased industry and bring prices in the industry down.

The 20 items, which are generic groupings of biobased products, include: adhesive and mastic removers, insulating foam for wall construction, hand cleaners and sanitizers, composite panels, fluid-filled transformers, biodegradable containers, fertilizers, metalworking fluids, sorbents, graffiti and grease removers, two-cycle engine oils, lipcare products, biodegradable films, stationary equipment hydraulic fluids, biodegradable cutlery, glass cleaners, greases, dust suppressants, carpets, and carpet and upholstery cleaners.

"When finalized, 1,500 biobased products will be given procurement preference by federal agencies, generating new economic opportunities for biobased product producers and U.S. farmers and ranchers, while providing new choices for U.S. consumers," Johanns says.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, authored the provision in the last farm bill. He expressed support for the announcement, but said more work needs to be done. "Additional products must be designated in the months to come, as well as implementation of the farm bill required biobased product label. The label will allow manufactures to distinguish their products as made from renewable materials and give consumers valuable information to make purchases," Harkin says.

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