June 14, 2013
Associate Elizabeth C. Johnson was quoted in the Federal Times article "Contractors Frustrated with Cuts to Bio-based Purchasing Program." The article discusses the future of an Agriculture Department program that helps agencies buy environmentally friendly products made from biological or agricultural materials. In January Congress failed to extend the funding needed to test new products, and as a result the USDA is no longer able to test new products and officially label them as a "USDA Certified Biobased Product," a label only 10% of BioPreferred products carry and a designation companies strive for. This is very disappointing to contractors who hoped to include their product in such tests going forward.
Ms. Johnson said that because many companies are expanding their green purchasing, the BioPreferred Program would become more relevant than ever. "Anything that gives the contractor a leg up over the competition is seen as really desirable," she said. However the funding lapse could prevent this program from growing and playing a bigger role in federal purchasing.