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USDA BioPreferred Federal Procurement Preference Program

  • Federal agencies are required to create procurement programs preferring biobased products
  • Companies can use ASTM D6866 certification to confirm a product’s biobased content.
  • ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited and ISO 9001-conformant Beta Analytic provides ASTM D6866 testing.

Beta Analytic is not an affiliate of the USDA BioPreferred Program. Interested parties are welcome to contact the lab on how to submit samples for testing as part of the BioPreferred Procurement Program.


Click for USDA Minimum Biobased Content list

USDA procurement programFederal agencies and their contractors are required to buy products with the highest biobased content. This applies to cumulative purchases of at least $10,000 as long as the selected biobased product is readily available, meets established performance standards, and is reasonably priced.

Any manufacturer or vendor can apply under the program if their products contain the required biobased levels established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a designated item. The program is open to all biobased products regardless of origin. Details of the Procurement Program are found in the Federal Register.

Beta Analytic recommends that interested parties contact the USDA to get a preliminary assessment on a product’s eligibility under the BioPreferred Program especially if the manufacturer or distributor is not based in the US.

Biobased Products Definition

As defined by the 2002 Farm Bill, biobased products are commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products, renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials), or forestry materials. The 2008 Farm Bill extended the definition of biobased products to include biobased intermediate ingredients or feedstocks. Source: USDA

ASTM Method D6866 Product Certification

BioPreferred Program applicants may provide ASTM D6866 certification as proof of the biobased content of the product they want listed in the USDA BioPreferred Catalog. Federal agencies choose the biobased products they procure from this catalog.

biobased products in usda biopreferred catalog

As of June 2018, there are three groups of biobased products in the BioPreferred Program: Certified-only (they do not fit into one of the 97 categories qualified for mandatory federal purchasing but have gone through the BioPreferred Program’s certification process), Qualified-only (they fall under one of the product categories but have not gone through the program’s certification process), Qualified/Certified (they belong in one of the product categories AND have gone through the program’s certification process) 

Minimum Biobased Content for Designated Items

The following is a list of the USDA’s designated items and their required minimum biobased content as of November 2017.
Source: USDA BioPreferred Website

USDA Procurement Program

The USDA administers the BioPreferred Program, which was created to fulfil Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 requiring federal agencies to prefer the procurement of products with the highest biobased content. The BioPreferred Federal Procurement Program started in 2005.

The 2002 Farm Bill was expanded in 2008 to promote the use of biobased products to the general public. The BioPreferred Voluntary Labeling Program was officially launched in February 2011 to increase consumer awareness and purchase of biobased products available in the market and to encourage manufacturers and vendors to supply products with high biobased content.

Products qualified under the federal procurement program cannot use the USDA-approved label without undergoing the application process. These products need to be re-tested for their biobased content via ASTM D6866 as part of the requirements of the voluntary labeling program.

Beta Analytic: ISO 9001 Conformant ASTM D6866 Lab

Beta Analytic in Miami, Florida, is a radiocarbon dating lab that is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard. By virtue of this accreditation, Beta Analytic is also conformant to ISO 9001. The lab has performed hundreds of analysis not only for the biobased manufacturing industry but also to others requiring renewable carbon determination.

Beta Analytic is committed to provide high-quality, reliable testing to fulfil the requirements of the USDA’s BioPreferred Program. The company is not affiliated with the USDA or the BioPreferred Program.

Related Topics:

ASTM Method D6866

Choosing a Qualified Lab for Biobased Content Testing

Page last updated: June 2018