Policy Encourages Bioproduct Preferences

July 11, 2022 Ohio Soybean Association

By Emilie Regula Hancock, OSA Policy & Membership Manager

One of the Ohio Soybean Association’s (OSA) top priorities is to support and encourage the increased purchase and use of sustainable biobased products by state agencies.

In 2010, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 131 which established a biobased product preference program. This legislation created a preferred purchasing program for companies selling bioproducts – products made with soybeans and other renewable resources.

Ohio companies lead the way in developing and selling plastics, paints and packing supplies. The legislation moved to include state agencies and universities in the preferred purchasing program. The purpose of the legislation was to support products made from Ohio crops, reduce the state’s usage of petroleum-based products and bolster university research regarding bioproducts and the companies that make and sell them.

The bill was a bipartisan piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard) and Senator Karen Gillmor (R-Tiffin). Senator Cafaro stated that goal of the legislation was to promote Ohio agriculture and industry. Senator Gillmor said the new program would allow the state to leverage its considerable purchasing power to bolster the market for such innovative products while benefiting research initiatives as well as the agricultural industry. The bill overwhelmingly  passed both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Ted Strickland in March 2010.

The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) has invested millions of checkoff dollars into researching and developing biobased products using soy, OSA continues to advocate for this biobased product preference. Soy-based alternatives often provide greater benefits in terms of cost, function and sustainability compared to existing non-biobased products. These green products capitalize on a critical market trend: recent polling shows that 71 percent of Americans would prefer to purchase a bioproduct over a petroleum- or chemical-based product if the cost is equivalent.