Manager, Government Affairs
Earlier this week, U.S. Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt
(R-MO) and Reps. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader
(D-OR) introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013, which
modifies the definition of “biobased” materials to specifically include
all forest products regardless of “newness” or “market maturity” in the
USDA BioPreferred Program’s voluntary labeling and government procurement initiatives.
The legislation clarifies that USDA should recognize forest products as biobased and will ensure a competitive marketplace for all products with biobased content, including “pulp, paper, paperboard, pellets, and wood products” and “any recycled products derived from forest materials.”
The department has arbitrarily excluded some of the most biobased products on the market from participation in its labeling and federal procurement initiatives, and this bi-partisan legislation would allow our products to be recognized for their inherent biobased qualities.
The program was originally enacted as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to help consumers identify and use biobased products. Products with as little as 25 percent biobased content are recognized under the program’s current implementation guidelines, while many paper and wood products that have up to 100 percent biobased content are not.