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USDA BioPreferred Program – Federal Procurement vs Voluntary Labeling

The United States Department of Agriculture administers the BioPreferred Program, which was created by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA or 2002 Farm Bill) and extended through provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA or 2008 Farm Bill). The BioPreferred Program consists of two initiatives – the federal procurement preference program and the voluntary labeling program.

Fast Facts:

Federal Preferred Procurement Program

Voluntary Labeling Program
Effective Date (Final Rule) February 10, 2005 February 22, 2011

To increase the purchase and use of biobased products by federal agencies and their contractors

To clearly identify commercial and industrial biobased products in the market and promote their purchase and use by the general public
Eligible Products Goods belonging to product categories established under the program except mature market products (i.e. products with significant market share in 1972) All biobased finished products, intermediates, and feedstock that meet the required minimum biobased content of the program except food, fuel, feed products, and mature market products
Minimum Biobased Content Requirements Depends on the product category (designated items and their minimum biobased content requirements found here) If the product belongs to an existing product category under the Federal Preferred Procurement Program, it must meet the minimum biobased content of the category.Products that do not belong to existing product categories under the Federal Procurement Program must be at least 25% biobased to qualify. Manufacturers of products with less than 25% biobased content may petition the USDA for an alternative minimum biobased content allowance.
ASTM D6866 Testing Not required, but recommended (biobased content self-certification accepted) Required (self-certification not accepted)
BioPreferred Catalog Listing


Products that receive the BioPreferred label are automatically listed in the BioPreferred catalog if they meet the minimum biobased content standard for their corresponding product category.
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label Affixed Only if the product manufacturer or vendor successfully applies for the label.


US Federal Register Reference

Vol. 7 No. 7 Jan. 2005

Vol. 76 No. 13 Jan. 2011

Application Process Submit product information for BioPreferred Catalog inclusion in and comply with requirements for federal government vendors Applicants are required to submit application forms to the USDA, agree to biobased product testing by an accredited laboratory, and provide current information about the product, company contact information, and Web site address (if available).

For details, contact the USDA BioPreferred Program.

Note: ISO/IEC 17025:2017-accredited Beta Analytic offers ASTM D6866 testing. The company is not affiliated with the USDA or the BioPreferred Program.

Ready to send your biobased samples?

Please read the lab’s instructions for USDA Label Applicants

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 and is filed under Biobased Products .