A new white paper titled Developing of a Purchasing Manager’s Index for Biobased Products was written by Iowa State University through a cooperative agreement with USDA’s Office of Energy Policy and New Uses. The authors explore the development of a measurement for biobased products, which are defined as those composed either in whole or in significant part of renewable agricultural or forestry materials, including commercial and industrial products as well as feedstocks. They discuss various types of composite indicators, trends in the overall biobased products sector, and the feasibility of using purchasing managers’ expectations to discern performance.
Several methodological and administrative issues involved in moving from a pilot study to a full-scale biobased products purchasing managers’ survey are considered. Recommendations are offered to support development and implementation of a composite index that charts the strength of the biobased product sector. USDA-sponsored research provides a foundation for more detailed analysis of growth in biobased products industries.