Hover over the sample label for a description
of each of its elements

Voluntary Labeling Initiative

Through the Voluntary Labeling Initiative, companies may apply for certification to display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label on a product that states its third-party tested and verified biobased content. The purpose of this label is to make it easy for consumers to locate and compare biobased products for purchase. By choosing a biobased product labeled, USDA Certified Biobased Product, the consumer can be assured that the USDA and the federal government stand behind the accuracy of the percent of biobased ingredients as stated on the label.

The USDA has established minimum biobased content standards for many product categories. A product must meet or exceed the minimum biobased content percentage in its given category in order to qualify for certification. Products belonging in categories for which minimum biobased content requirements have not yet been established must contain at least 25% biobased content.

What is a biobased product?

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

Federal Purchasing Program (FP) Mark
Products that have been approved as designated items for the Federal preferred purchasing program and intended for sale directly to Federal purchasers must use the version of the label that contains the symbol "FP" (Federally Preferred) in capital letters in the specified area.
USDA Certified Biobased Product
The words "USDA Certified Biobased Product" are required by law to be used for all certified products, whether the certified product is a package or a product.
Product Percentage Content
Percentage of certified biobased content of a product must always be stated on the label. Participants are responsible for matching the label awarded to the product or package to which it applies.
Package Percentage Content
Percentage of certified biobased content of a package must always be stated on the label. Participants are responsible for matching the label awarded to the product or package to which it applies.
The Graphic
The stylized graphic emblem at the left side of the mark is meant to represent the sun, the soil and the aquatic environments.
Legal Source
wood fibers are from jurisdictions with a low risk of illegal activity or from controlled wood standards, stair-step standards, legality assessments, or other proprietary standards. Products from non-controversial sources are traceable to the applicable jurisdiction, or chain of custody.
Responsible Source
Wood fibers are acquired from a legal source utilizing independently certified procurement standards or are from a proprietary forestry standard or from jurisdictions with regulatory or quasi-regulatory programs to implement best management practices.
Certified Source
Wood fiber acquired in accordance with, and independently certified to, an internationally recognized voluntary forest certification standard or equivalent.
Biobased
Containing renewable plant, marine, and forestry-based resources not derived from petroleum.
Biobased Content
A ratio of a product's new organic carbon to total organic carbon, as measured by a standard test method (ASTM D6866). Biobased content is expressed as a percentage. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon (which originates from petroleum). The presence of new organic carbon is an important attribute in a product's sustainability footprint.
Biobased Products
Biobased Products are derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Biobased products generally provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products and include a diverse range of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, and bioplastics.
Percent Biobased Content
The ratio of new organic carbon to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Total organic carbon consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon, which originates from petroleum.
Qualified Biobased Product
Meets the requirements for one or more product categories identified by USDA as part of the federal government procurement preference program.
Renewable
An inexhaustible resource, readily replaced. In the context of biobased products, renewable resources includes agricultural, forestry, and marine resources such as algae.
USDA Certified Biobased Product
Has achieved third-party verification of biobased content and has earned USDA certification and approval to display the label.