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The Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) delivers the Alberta EFP program on behalf of the Government of Alberta.

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The frequently asked questions below are broken down into 5 categories to help you find what you’re looking for: Alberta EFP, EFP Process, EFP Technicians, Program Updates, & EFP+. If you have further questions or suggestions please contact us.
Information on the new version of the workbook can also be found under the Program Updates tab.

What is an EFP?

The Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is a free, voluntary, whole farm, self-assessment tool that helps producers identify their environmental risks and develop plans to mitigate identified risks. Learn more here.

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 Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) 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:

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 (587-200-2552) 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.

  1. 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. 
  2. Consultants cannot approve your EFP. Your technician can.
  3. 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?

Our newest and latest version of the EFP webbook (version 4.0) is ready for you. It’s easier to use, and we believe it will make for a better experience for our users – Alberta agricultural producers.

After careful consultation with our producers, staff, provincial technical experts and EFP technicians, we took all that feedback and created our improved version. We are so excited to share it with you. 

The workbook has been slimmed down (by 18%) and is now more efficient and easier for farmers to schedule their time to complete. We simplified without sacrificing any of the information. Our EFP workbook is still filled with all the valuable information producers rely on to complete their environmental farm plans.

We have also included an optional beekeeping chapter designed to provide guidance to those interested in incorporating apiaries into their operations. We recognize the important role bees play in our environment and farming practices and want to make sure producers who are interested in supporting bee populations have the tools they need.

Why is this new content being added?

We are so proud of the work that has gone into creating this new version of the EFP workbook. The updates and features in the 4.0 version will make it easier and more efficient for farmers to complete their workbooks while keeping the support, guidance and valuable information they have come to expect from the Alberta Environmental Farm Plan.

When is the launch of the new webbook?

Our newest and latest version of the EFP webbook (version 4.0) is ready for you. It’s easier to use, and we believe it will make for a better experience for our users – Alberta agricultural producers.

Who it be affected by the new webbook version?

The new version of the EFP has been launched and all workbooks that were in progress or returned for revisions have been upgraded to the newest EFP 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?

Based on our newest version launch, you will see content 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+ workbook?

No, only established Farm Management Groups* can make requests on behalf of the producer to complete an EFP+ 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.

What is a Farm Management Group?

The Farm Management Group (FMG) is the organization that organizes and executes the EFP+ program and additional FSA requirements for a group of farms (ex. company purchasing raw products or a commodity group).

What are the benefits of EFP+?

EFP+ provides many benefits:

  • 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.
  • Alberta EFP has the governance structure and auditor guidance in place to assist with the verification component of the FSA.
  • Management of benchmarking to updated FSA assessments and local legislation.

While getting to take advantage of all of the other benefits EFP has to offer:

  • Education and awareness to assist producers in managing environmental risks on their operation.
  • Support from regional EFP technicians who help producers complete the workbook, provide feedback on their plan, and point them towards local resources and programs.
  • Eligibility for certain cost-share programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (S-CAP).
  • Upgrading workbooks made easy in our online system.
  • Access to over 500 local resources and programs throughout the workbook.
What is involved in completing an EFP+ workbook?

The EFP Plus workbook is very similar to the EFP standard workbook, with the addition of an FSA chapter, which includes an additional 14 questions.
The EFP questions are mapped to questions in the FSA self-assessment on the back end, making for a seamless experience for producers. Upon approval of the EFP workbook, producers receive an FSA report with their FSA performance score.

Does EFP+ involve an audit?

A small 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.

How often do I need to update my EFP+ 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.