Frequently Asked Questions
The frequently asked questions below are broken down into three categories to help you find what you’re looking for: Alberta EFP, EFP Process, EFP Technicians, and Program Updates. If you have further questions or suggestions please contact us.
Information on the new version of the workbook can be found under the Program Updates tab.
What is an EFP?
What are the benefits to completing an EFP?
Maintaining a healthy environment is essential to the success of Alberta’s agricultural producers. The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program helps you identify and address environmental risks* in your operation. It will also increase your understanding of legal requirements related to environmental issues. Click here for more reasons to complete an EFP.
*The risks are environmental but many relate to personal health (e.g. wells)
When/why am I required to do an EFP?
An EFP is a prerequisite for certain Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) grants. It may also be a requirement if you wish to sell to some purchasers who have decided to use EFP as a sustainable sourcing tool. To learn more about sustainable sourcing, click here.
Is AEFP run by the government?
No, EFP is run by the non-profit organization, Agricultural Research & Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA). The program is grant-funded by the provincial government.
How do I start?
You can register to start an EFP by filling out this form: https://webbook.albertaefp.com/register/
How do I renew?
You can now complete your EFP online. To find more information on renewing your EFP, click here.
When do I renew?
An EFP is valid for 10 years. After 10 years it will need to be renewed to be considered valid and current. You can find your completion date on your EFP completion letter or certificate. If you are selling your product to a company that requires an EFP, you may be required to renew your EFP sooner. Check the requirements of your contract.
What do I do if I can’t find my completion letter or certificate?
Contact the ARECA office to see if they have record of when you completed your EFP. If not, or it has been greater than 10 years, you will need to renew online. For more information click here.
How long will it take to complete an EFP?
It depends on the complexity of your operation and your comfort level with a computer. It can take a few hours or potentially longer.
Do I complete an EFP for the land I rent or own?
The EFP is a whole-farm assessment, so it should include all land that you manage. It should include both owned and rented land.
What is the role of my technician?
Your technician fills two roles. One is to help you complete your EFP. They are there to help you answer or understand questions and provide technical guidance. The other role is to review your EFP. In the review process they will provide resources and feedback on your action plan. Ultimately, they are responsible for approving your plan when they are satisfied the plan is complete.
Who is my technician?
Your technician is certified by the EFP program to deliver EFPs in your region. Many of them work for your municipality or your local research association.
How do I find a technician?
You should receive your technician’s contact information within two weeks of registering to complete your EFP. If you are not sure who your technician is, or you need help sooner, you can contact the EFP office by emailing [email protected] or calling 587-200-2552.
What is the difference between a consultant and a technician?
There are three important differences between consultants and technicians.
- EFP technicians receive ongoing professional training to deliver EFPs. While some consultants MAY have been technicians at one time and received training, no consultants are receiving current training.
- Consultants cannot approve your EFP. Your technician can.
- Consultants are people you contract to do work for you. As such, you pay for them. The EFP Technicians are paid from other sources and their work on your EFP comes at no cost to you.
What changes are being made?
Alberta EFP is introducing a new Habitat Management Chapter with other updates with the launch of the new version of the AEFP WebBook. The Habitat Management Chapter will be unlike any other as it also includes the Habitat & Biodiversity Assessment Tool. Using a similar format as the rest of the webbook, a series of question prompts will guide the farmer through the assessment to help develop an action plan. This tool will allow farmers to understand the habitat on their land better, how they can positively contribute to Alberta’s biodiversity and offer another perspective on the value of their land.
Additionally, chapters previously located under farmstead sites and field sites are now considered whole-farm chapters. The whole farm chapters will appear as follows;
Chapter 1 - Site and Soil Characteristics
Chapter 2 - Water sources
Chapter 3 - Water Bodies is now a stand-alone chapter that will include the water body inventory
Chapter 4 - Environmental Emergency Planning will now be mandatory
Chapter 5 - Habitat Management is a new chapter
Chapter 6 - Trees, Shelterbelts, Woodlots and Bush
Upon approval of the workbook, producers will also receive a report indicating how they would have scored against the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) 2.1. The FSA is a global standard that allows producers to demonstrate their sustainability performance against an internationally accepted framework. The report is for awareness purposes, and cannot be used to make a claim. Click here to find out more.
Why is this new content being added?
Alberta EFP is also working towards alignment with the global Farm Sustainability Assessment silver standard. Habitat and biodiversity are components of this assessment. In order to support Alberta farmers and maintain market access, it was clear that this was a useful component to add to the Alberta EFP.
When is the launch of the new webbook?
Alberta EFP is launching the new webbook version fall of 2022.
Who it be affected by the new webbook version?
When the webbook is updated, the producers who are currently working through their EFP will likely be the participants who it will affect the most. Since all online EFP workbooks will be updated to this new system, those who are close to finishing their EFP are encouraged to complete and submit before the end of September so they will not have any disruption with their EFP. There will be a grace period of 4 weeks for producers currently working on their workbooks. After the upgrade, all in-progress workbooks will be automatically upgraded to the new version.
How long does working through the new content take?
Producers with completed EFP workbooks wishing to upgrade to the new version can expect to complete the new material in approximately 1 hour.
What support can I expect from Alberta EFP?
The Alberta EFP team will be offering webinars for specific questions on the Habitat Management Tool. Over the next few months, you will see more content also available through the website, social media or email. Alberta EFP welcomes suggestions for support materials so that we can ease the transition with these new changes. As always, the technician assisting you with your workbook or the Alberta EFP team is available by phone or email to answer any questions you may have.
What is EFP+?
The EFP+ program an upgraded version of the standard EFP workbook, but provides the producer with an official equivalency score with SAI Platform’s Farm Sustainability Assessment.
Can anyone sign up to do an EFP Plus workbook?
No, only established Farm Management Groups* can make requests on behalf of the producer to complete an EFP Plus workbook.
What is the Farm Sustainability Assessment?
The FSA is widely recognized as a food and drink industry reference for sustainable crop farming. It was created to encourage the industry-wide adoption of better management practices that improve farm performance and sustainability outcomes. https://saiplatform.org/fsa/
What is a Farm Management Group?
A Farm Management Group is an established group of farmers according to SAI Platform’s requirements.
What are the benefits of EFP Plus?
EFP Plus allows producers to achieve equivalency of the FSA global standard by completing an environmental assessment designed specifically for producers who operate within the Alberta context, while getting to take advantage of all of the other benefits EFP has to offer.
What is involved in completing an EFP Plus workbook?
The EFP Plus workbook is very similar to the EFP standard workbook, with the addition of an FSA chapter (which currently includes two risk rating questions).
How does equivalency work between the EFP Plus workbook and the FSA Tool?
Through following Alberta legislation and completing an EFP 3.1 Plus workbook, a producer has the opportunity to achieve an FSA 2.1 Silver score. Questions within the EFP 3.1 Plus workbook have been mapped to questions in the FSA 2.1 tool to provide the final score. Some producers will be subject to a verification audit.
Does EFP Plus involve an audit?
A sample of farms from within a Farm Management Group will have to undergo a verification audit, as will be arranged by the Farm Management Group Coordinator in order to make an FSA claim.
Who can do the audits?
Only approved verification bodies by SAI Platform.
Which questions will be assessed during an audit?
The questions included in the FSA Report will be audited.
Where can I find my FSA Report?
This was emailed to you upon approval of your EFP Plus workbook. You can also find a copy under the “My Documents” tab of your EFP Webbook account. https://webbook.albertaefp.com/login/
How often do I need to update my EFP Plus workbook in order to be considered current?
You should renew your EFP Plus workbook every three years in order to be considered current. Contact us if you need help renewing.
How does Alberta EFP support the verification process?
Alberta EFP has developed Auditor Guidance to support the auditor throughout the process. The Auditor Guidance is available upon request from the Alberta EFP office for verification bodies.
Are there any benefits for producers who are not part of the EFP Plus stream?
Yes, those who complete the EFP standard workbook will receive a report that lets them know how they would have scored against the FSA standard. This report is for information purposes only and cannot be used to make an FSA Claim.