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USDA Amends Guidelines for Bio-based Products Under Biopreferred Program

USDA Amends Guidelines for Bio-based Products Under Biopreferred Program


Effective August 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has amended the Guidelines for Designating Bio-based Products for Federal Procurement by adding 12 product categories. These include intermediate chemicals within which bio-based products will be afforded Federal procurement preference by Federal agencies and their contractors. These guidelines are part of the USDA’s BioPreferred program.

Provisions in Guidelines

The Guidelines included provisions for the designation of product categories that were composed of finished, consumer products such as mobile equipment hydraulic fluids, penetrating lubricants, or hand cleaners and sanitizers.

The term “intermediate ingredient and feedstock” is defined in the Farm Bill as “a material or compound made in whole or in significant part from biological products, including renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) or forestry materials, that are subsequently used to make a more complex compound or product.”

Newly Added 12 Product Categories

In the proposed rule, USDA proposed designating the following 12 product categories for the preferred procurement program:

Category Item Bio-based Minimum Content, %
Intermediates Plastic Resins 22%
Intermediates Chemicals 22%
Intermediates Paint and Coating Components 22%
Intermediates Textile Processing Materials 22%
Intermediates Foams 22%
Intermediates Fibers and Fabrics 25%
Intermediates Lubricant Components 44%
Intermediates Binders 47%
Intermediates Cleaner Components 55%
Intermediates Personal Care Product Components 62%
Intermediates Oils, Fats, and Waxes 65%
Intermediates Rubber Materials 96%

Feasibility for Manufacturers & Vendors

Once USDA designates a product category, procuring agencies are required generally to purchase bio-based products within the designated product category where the purchase price of the procurement product exceeds 10,000 USD or where the quantity of such products or of functionally equivalent products purchased over the preceding fiscal year equaled 10,000 USD or more.

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