Soy-based product label offers marketing opportunity

ST. LOUIS - The recently announced U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Certified Biobased Product Label offers new opportunities for companies producing soy-based products. As one of the largest feed stocks for biobased products, soy currently makes its way into hundreds of products on the market. The United Soybean Board (USB) supports the development of these products, many of which can be found in USB’s Soy Products Guide.

The new USDA label will be placed on products to identify them as being made from renewable resources composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials.

“Soy-based products that attain the label have an opportunity for rapid adoption by consumers that are looking for alternatives to petrochemicals,” says Dale Profit, USB New Uses program vice chair and a soybean farmer from Ohio. “This label also may give an opportunity for makers of soy-based products to get into government procurement, and the government is one of the largest buyers of products in the nation.”

The new biobased product label will empower both businesses and consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on a product’s ingredients, and will allow them to participate in boosting the demand for renewable commodities, which helps to create jobs, investment and income. Instructions on applying for the label can be found on USDA BioPreferred’s website.

“Manufacturers of biobased products can use this label to help encourage sales,” says Ron Buckhalt, manager of USDA’s BioPreferred program. “The biobased label can help create and add to market share, with the name recognition of USDA to certify that these products are made from biobased content.”

In addition to facilitating increased U.S. energy independence by reducing the use of petrochemicals in manufactured products, the USDA’s BioPreferred program helps to reduce fossil carbon released into the atmosphere, thus mitigating the potential impact on climate change.

“In the first few weeks of eligibility, we have had over 300 applications, and I anticipate a substantial number of applications in the future,” says Buckhalt. “It’s my fervent hope that this becomes the international standard for biobased products and one of these days we will be able to see this label on many store shelves.”
Buckhalt adds that this label can help create a new biobased economy. “It’s great to be a part of the program, and I feel like it’s making the world a better place for our children and grandchildren,” says Buckhalt. “If we begin the process of replacing petrochemicals, we can recreate an economy that features biobased products.”

USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

SOURCE: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

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