Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced proposed new actions to include new forest products in the BioPreferred program.
The proposal also includes other traditional biobased products and other mature market products, which have been produced in innovative ways. USDA seeks public comment for 60 days on the proposed rules published in today's Federal Register.
The proposed action responds to new requirements in the 2014 Farm Bill for USDA to promote biobased products, including forest products, that apply an innovative approach to growing, harvesting, sourcing, procuring, processing, manufacturing, or application of biobased products regardless of the date of entry into the marketplace.
The proposed rules provide the framework for implementing the new requirements, and will replace previous regulatory provisions excluding mature market products. The action further revises the definition of "biobased product" to state that the term includes forest products that meet biobased content requirements, notwithstanding the market share the product holds, the age of the product, or whether the market for the product is new or emerging.
USDA's BioPreferred program works to increase the purchase and use of designated biobased products through a preferred procurement initiative for Federal agencies. Designated products may also carry the voluntary "USDA Certified Biobased Product" label, which is designed to promote the broad-scale marketing of biobased products to consumers.
Certified and designated products include construction, janitorial, and groundskeeping products purchased by Federal agencies, to personal care and packaging products used by consumers every day.