Diving into Alberta’s Environmental Farm Plan

abefp Blog

Written by Paul Watson, Alberta EFP Director

OK, this’ll be a fairly standard introductory blog post. I’ll tell you who I am, what I (and others) will be blogging about and most importantly, why I am blogging.

Who am I?

What do guys usually say when asked this question? Their name, I’m Paul Watson—and not the former Greenpeace guy. What they do, I’m the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan (AEFP) Director. But who am I really?  In my last position I wrote an introductory blog with rather a lot of detail.  You can read about it here if you’re interested. The short version is that I have taken a different route than most to get to where I am today. I’m also probably different than most people my age; I have no problems doing things outside the “norm.” My chosen path in life and my interests give me a different perspective on the world than most.

What will I be blogging about?

In future posts, for the most part everything will fall into a few categories: Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), farm stewardship, and the concept of “Sustainable Sourcing.” EFP and farm stewardship are obvious; we are, after all, the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan – which is all about farm stewardship. But what is sustainable sourcing?

Well, the definition has not been universally agreed upon. In broad terms it means that corporations acquire foods, or the raw materials for foods, from producers and other organizations that have systems in place to ensure that social, environmental, and economic sustainability is achieved. If that is not all that helpful, here’s a fairly universally-recognized sustainable sourcing platform from the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative.  Sustainable sourcing is here in Alberta (and across Canada) already (e.g. Verified Beef Production, McCain’s requirement forpotato growers to complete an EFP and more and the Dairy Farmers of Canada are developing a ProAction Plan) that will continue to expand in scope and scale.

Why Am I Blogging?

I want to blog to help keep people aware of developments in the industry. I will be talking about meetings I’ve attended and share my view on the key points that are of interest to producers and more broadly, the ag sector. I’ll keep you up to date on key developments in EFP in Alberta and from across the country. And I hope to engage with you in a broader discussion of farm stewardship and how this ties into both EFP and sustainable sourcing. I’m looking forward to the conversation!

Sincerely,

Paul Watson
Environmental Farm Plan Director