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How You Can Get Your Product into the USDA BioPreferred Catalog

The USDA BioPreferred labeling program is the most important government-backed initiative for producers that use biomass materials in their products. If you have developed a new product that uses biomass, or even if you are in the process of researching and developing a new product, you will need to know the benefits of the USDA BioPreferred label and the process for entering your product into the program.

Participation in the program is free, and the only direct cost of entering comes from USDA BioPreferred testing to verify biobased content of your product.

What is the USDA BioPreferred Program?

USDA BioPreferred LogoThe BioPreferred program is primarily an economic initiative that aims to promote growth in the bio-economy. For manufacturers and product developers, one of the biggest advantages of the program is that it provides a recognized brand for selling products that are created using biomass. When a product is certified for the program, it can legally display the official USDA BioPreferred label with an indicator of the percentage of biomass that is used in the product and its packaging.

The program has created billions of dollars worth of economic benefits in the United States, both through sales of biobased products and jobs in the bio-economy. The program helps to create a larger market for producers of biomass, as well as intermediate product manufacturers.

The economic initiative also creates environmental benefits, with the USDA stating that biobased products currently displace up to 300 million gallons of petroleum per year, thanks to the use of biomass alternatives over traditional petroleum products in production.

How Can You Enter Your Product into the Program?

There are three high-level requirements that must be met before a manufacturer can enter the USDA BioPreferred labeling program.

  • The biobased content in a product must be covered under the definition of the Farm Bill. The government defines content as commercial or industrial goods (not including food or livestock feed) that are composed in significant part of biological products, renewable agricultural materials, or forestry materials. This can include marine-based, plant, or animal-based materials.
  • The product needs to meet minimum biobased content requirements. These vary for different categories, and products that don’t fall into existing categories can still be certified if they contain a minimum 25% biomass.
  • Third-party testing must be performed to ensure that the product meets minimum standards. Testing must be performed by an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory that offers ASTM D6866 testing.

Registration for the program is free, but you will need to pay to have your products tested. Actual costs vary depending on the product and turnaround time of the lab.

USDA BioPreferred Testing at Beta Analytic

Beta Analytic offers biobased content testing in full compliance with the ASTM D6866 standard. The lab is an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory that has extensive experience with testing biobased products. The company was involved in the initial program that developed the testing standard used for the USDA BioPreferred program.

ASTM D6866 test results are reported in 5-7 business days. A faster service is also available. Please contact the lab for price inquiries.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 15th, 2016 and is filed under USDA Biopreferred Program .