Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products. The BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill and reauthorized and expanded by the 2008, 2014 and 2018 Farm bills. The program’s purpose is to spur economic development, create new jobs and provide new markets for farm commodities. The increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products reduces our nation’s reliance on petroleum, increases the use of renewable agricultural resources, and contributes to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts.

Biobased products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials and provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products. Biobased products include diverse categories such as lubricants, cleaning products, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics. For purposes of the BioPreferred program, biobased products do not include food, animal feed, or fuel.

The two major parts of the program are:

1) Mandatory purchasing requirements for federal agencies and their contractors; and,

2) A voluntary labeling initiative for biobased products.

The BioPreferred program provides acquisition tools, the BioPreferred Catalog and training resources to assist in meeting biobased purchasing requirements. While the BioPreferred program does not provide financial support for its participants, USDA’s Rural Development agency offers loan and grant programs that may be applicable. For more information, please click here.