Hemp Association Joins New Ag Bioeconomy Coalition
Industry associations have launched the Ag Bioeconomy Coalition to advance federal policy initiatives that foster growth toward a circular economy based on innovative products derived from agricultural commodities. Encompassing a broad range of technologies, the ag bioeconomy uses renewable, biobased materials as inputs to make chemicals and products such as fuels, manufacturing materials and consumer goods. The industry says it presents an opportunity to tap into the full potential of the American agriculture sector, support supply chain resiliency, and help address key environmental issues.
Founding Coalition members include: American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF); American Soybean Association (ASA); Corn Refiners Association (CRA); Growth Energy; National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA); National Corn Growers Association (NCGA); National Hemp Association; and Plant Based Products Council (PBPC).
“Advancing the bioeconomy is one of the most meaningful climate solutions on the table today,” says PBPC Executive Director Jessica Bowman. “The plant-based products industry presents an opportunity to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by using renewable inputs for a variety of consumer goods, including disposable foodservice ware, household cleaners, and construction materials. What’s more, this industry is meeting consumer demand for climate solutions in a way that is accessible and does not upend our current supply chain infrastructure.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the use of biobased products reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 12.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents per year – that is equivalent to taking over 2.7 million cars off the road for a year.
“Innovations in agriculture are critical for combatting climate change, helping create green jobs, and providing Americans with healthy, affordable food and renewable materials for a variety of high value products,” says Senator Tina Smith (MN-D), member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. “Investing in the ag bioeconomy will increase sustainability and help us turn renewable resources like hemp, soy and corn into value-added goods, such as bioenergy, chemicals and consumer products. This is good for our environment and will drive greater rural economic development. I look forward to working alongside the Ag Bioeconomy Coalition to strengthen the U.S. bioeconomy.”
The domestic biobased products industry adds over $470 billion of value to the U.S. economy and supports 4.6 million jobs. Between 2013 and 2017, the industry expanded more than 27% in terms of value added; in 2021, nearly half of Americans report purchasing plant-based products monthly.
For every biobased job created, 2.79 additional jobs are generated in other sectors of the U.S. economy. Between 2013 and 2017, 1.65 million jobs directly supported the biobased product industry, resulting in 2.96 million spillover jobs. Spillover jobs mean they were created in related industries to support the purchase of goods and services from the biobased products industry.
Looking ahead, the coalition’s policy priorities also include supporting market transparency and visibility initiatives that facilitate common ag bioeconomy nomenclature and measurement. The Coalition is also focused on advocating for policies that promote ways in which government entities can support bioeconomy research and development.
Learn more about the Ag Bioeconomy Coalition at www.nasda.org/agbioeconomycoalition.