USDA announced that it has added 12 biobased product categories eligible for Federal procurement preference, with a third of these from the cosmetics and personal care segment.
Once the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register, is finalized, more than 2,300 additional biobased products will be offered for preferred purchasing consideration by all Federal government agencies and contractors.
"President Obama has directed the federal government to take decisive steps to dramatically increase the purchase of biobased products over the next two years, which will create jobs and drive innovation where biobased products are grown and manufactured," said Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
"When procuring agencies buy biobased products they are helping their organizations increase energy security and independence, spur economic development, and improve our environment."
The proposed rule designates that biobased deodorants, lotions and moisturizers, shaving products, and sun care products are preferred for Federal procurement.
Biobased products are composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients - 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 (under development).
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 Presidential Memorandum to create jobs in rural America through biobased and sustainable product procurement, as well as investments into rural businesses.
Since taking office, President Obama's Administration has taken 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 claims to be 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.