Alberta EFP is responsible for the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program across the province. We work with Alberta producers and the industry groups that represent them to create awareness of the designation and its benefits, and to encourage producers to complete the EFP process.
The EFP program began in 2003 and has been delivered by the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) since 2013. Our work includes:
- Creating awareness and interest through a variety of marketing communications initiatives
- Providing information about the program to a wide variety of audiences
- Developing and updating materials such as the EFP workbook, website and how-to videos
- Linking new registrants with one of our 50+ EFP technicians across the province for individual coaching and advice
- Encouraging agricultural education programs to include EFP education and experience in their curriculum
- Creating and strengthening partnerships with the ag industry and all three orders of government
- Working with the ag industry and our EFP counterparts across Canada to develop national standards that will meet or surpass international standards
Alberta EFP’s work is guided by a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, delivered by regional ag reps, and supported by municipal, provincial and federal government.
AEFP is preparing for a future where the majority of commodities are sustainably sourced. Consumers and the agri-food industry are demanding proof that agricultural products are safe and healthy, and grown with minimal impact on the environment. We will achieve that by working with industry, sustainable sourcing initiatives, and other EFP programs to create national standards, reduce overlap and to simplify the EFP as much possible, while retaining its integrity.
Alberta EFP strives to develop and deliver an EFP program that meets or surpasses international standards. Our goal is to help Alberta agricultural producers demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship by completing an EFP. We will achieve this by sharing information, collaborating with industry, and providing services of the highest quality and consistency delivered by committed and trained technicians.
The Environmental Farm Plan program was started by the Government of Alberta in 2003. For the first six years of its operation, it was contracted out to the Environmental Farm Plan Company. In 2009, EFP was returned to the provincial government. Since 2013, ARECA has run the program and is still currently operating it.
To date, Alberta EFP has had inquiries from 14,000 Alberta producers of whom ≈ 9,000 have completed an EFP. This represents 24% of registered Alberta farms. Since 2009, just under two million acres of agricultural land has been added to coverage under EFPs.
AEFP works with agricultural industry associations to encourage their members to complete an EFP. In 2014, the Potato Growers of Alberta became the first ag industry group to make an EFP a requirement for membership. Alberta EFP also worked with the Egg Producers of Alberta to adapt the EFP into a new assessment tool called PEEP.
Many of the post-secondary agricultural education programs have an EFP component. In 2015, Lakeland College became the first post-secondary to actually complete an EFP, using their student-managed farm for the assessment.