If you manufacture products that use biobased materials, then you can gain a number of advantages from the USDA BioPreferred Labeling Program. Entry into the program allows you to use official USDA Biobased branding on your products, helping you to stay competitive in a market where consumers are increasingly turning to goods derived from biomass.
There are minimum biobased content standards for a number of product categories, and your product may fall into one of the many existing categories covered in the USDA BioPreferred catalog. Even if you have created a new and innovative product that isn’t covered by an existing category, you can still get BioPreferred certification if the product has at least 25% biobased content as measured through the ASTM D6866 standardized method.
Entering into the program is simple and there is no fee for certification. The only cost will come from biobased content testing service of third-party labs. If you want to start taking advantage of the federally backed program, then you’ll need to know the steps to follow to get certified.
The USDA provides all tools directly to manufacturers, and all steps, information, and news about the BioPreferred program can be found on the official website.
Before you can apply for a product label and inclusion in the program, you’ll need to gain a Level 1 USDA e-Authentication Account. This allows you access to the Company Tools provided by the USDA. Requesting an account is performed through the USDA website. During this process, you will need to provide your company information, and you’ll later use your authentication to download graphics resources for labeling your product.
After you have followed the application process, you’ll be provided an application number and instructions to complete the Biobased Participant Agreement. You’ll need to send the completed agreement to ASTM, after which the application will be confirmed, and you’ll then be provided with a list of accepted laboratories that can perform the biobased content testing services.
Prices are set by laboratories and are within ranges that are affordable for small, medium, and large enterprise businesses. Laboratories have up to 15 days to test your product sample and packaging, however, leading laboratories will offer turnaround times that are much faster than the maximum allowed by the program. Laboratories will provide a report of the product that indicates the biobased content, and they will also provide a report to ASTM International. With the report reviewed and confirmed, the USDA will be notified and the applicant will receive direct confirmation once certification has been approved.
Not every material testing laboratory has the necessary tools or experience to be able to perform biobased content testing. Beta Analytic is one of two laboratories in the United States authorized to test biobased products for the USDA voluntary labeling program. The Miami-based lab worked on the initial project that defined the testing standard and has extensive experience and expertise in biobased testing. Testing is performed in accordance with the ASTM D6866 standard.
Beta Analytic is an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory. This accreditation is a requirement by ASTM International for labs performing biobased content testing for the USDA BioPreferred Program.
The process of joining the USDA BioPreferred labeling program is relatively simple and designed in a way that ensures companies can easily participate. When working with Beta Analytic, you’ll get the very best technical support and advice to help you throughout the testing process.
There are currently thousands of BioPreferred products covered by the BioPreferred Voluntary Labeling Program and the Federal Purchasing program. The USDA label can be an effective tool to make your product stand out on store shelves, in catalogs, and throughout your marketing materials. The USDA BioPreferred label includes the biobased content percentage of your product, which further helps consumers to make their purchasing decisions.
It simply makes sense to join the USDA BioPreferred labeling program if you are using biomass in your products. With a laboratory like Beta Analytic, you’ll have the ideal accepted laboratory testing partner to ensure that your application process is as smooth as possible.
Beta Analytic reports ASTM D6866 testing results in 5-7 business days. A faster service is also available. Please contact the lab for price inquiries.