This week USDA has released a report that synthesizes current literature exploring opportunites in the emerging bioeconomy. The report is call Why Biobased? and is a precursor for a more comprehensive study to be released in the future by the USDA BioPreferred program. The focus of that report will be the economic impacts of the biobased products industry.
Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, commented in a media release: "This new report represents the opportunities U.S. agriculture and forests have in the emerging bioeconomy. The recent inclusion of mature market products into the BioPreferred program strengthens our commitment to the U.S. biobased economy and brings together two of the most important economic engines in rural America: agriculture and manufacturing."
The report looked a findings from existing government, academia and non-governmental organizations to explore how government policies and industry business-to-business sustainability programs are driving the biobased economy. The report further demonstrates that the biobased economy is, in fact, growing and offers great potential for job creation.
USDA points to one report cited that concludes that biobased chemicals could constitute more than 10% of the chemical market by 2015. Another report in the study concludes that there is a potential to produce two-thirds of the total volume of chemicals from biobaseed materials representing more than 50,000 poducts, a $1 trillion global market.
On the heels of this completed study, the USDA BioPreferred program has awarded a contract for a more in-depth economic study of biobased products and economic impacts, including research on job creation and economic value. It will be the first federally sponsored economic report of its kind targeting the biobased products industry in the U.S. Congress mandated the upcoming study in the 2014 Farm Bill.
The voluntary USDA Certified Biobased Product label aims to promote the broad-scale marketing of biobased products to consumers. As of September 2014, USDA has certified more than 1,940 biobased products in more than 187 product categories. The range of certified products includes construction, janitorial and grounds keeping products purchased by Federal agencies.
Check out the new report to learn more about the opportunities offered by this class of products.