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Release No. 0119.12
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USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces BioPreferred Final Rule

BioPreferred® Program designates thirteen new Biobased Product Categories More than 1500 additional biobased products now eligible for preferred Federal purchasing

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the addition of 13 biobased product categories which are eligible for Federal procurement preference. Now more than 1,500 additional biobased products will be offered for preferred purchasing consideration by all Federal government agencies and contractors. The final rule was published in the April 4 Federal Register.

In February, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to create jobs through increased procurement of biobased products by the federal government and to encourage greater Federal support of the BioPreferred program.

"There are now more than 10,000 products qualifying for preferred procurement under USDA's BioPreferred program" said Vilsack. "Including previously designated items, these 13 additional biobased product categories will help feed the President's initiative by offering even more products with federal procurement preference."

Today's final rule designates the following biobased products for preferred Federal procurement:

  • air fresheners and deodorizers
  • asphalt and tar removers
  • asphalt restorers
  • blast media
  • candles and wax melts
  • electronic components cleaners
  • floor coverings (non-carpet)
  • foot care products
  • furniture cleaners and protectors
  • inks
  • packing and insulating materials
  • pneumatic equipment lubricants
  • wood and concrete stains

Biobased products are composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients in new or emerging markets– renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. A BioPreferred designated item is one that meets or exceeds USDA-established minimum biobased content requirements.

BioPreferred is comprised of a preferred procurement program for Federal agencies and a voluntary labeling program for the broad scale marketing of biobased products. Please contact biopreferred@usda.gov for more information about the Round 8 final rule or the BioPreferred program.

A complete list and detailed description of each BioPreferred designated item, and items for future designation, can be found at www.biopreferred.gov; or follow BioPreferred at http://twitter.com/BioPreferredThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website..

Creating new markets for the nation's agricultural products through biobased manufacturing is one of the many steps the Administration has taken over the past three years to strengthen the rural economy. Since August 2011, the White House Rural Council has supported a broad spectrum of rural initiatives including a $350 million commitment in SBA funding to rural small businesses over the next 5 years, launching a series of conferences to connect investors with rural start-ups, creating capital marketing teams to pitch federal funding opportunities to private investors interested in making rural and making job search information available at 2,800 local USDA offices nationwide.

Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.

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