Effective April 1, 2018, producers will need to have an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) completion letter dated within the last 10 years to be considered current and eligible for cost-share funding with the Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change programs of the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP). That means, for example, if you apply September 1, 2018, your EFP will need to have been approved on or after September 1, 2008 to be considered for current funding.
I’m sure the first question you’ll ask after reading the title is “Why?”. There has been a movement to harmonize EFPs nationally to make EFPs more useful to sustainable sourcing programs, and Alberta is the only province without a renewal period; therefore, we are doing it to make EFPs useful to sustainable sourcing programs across Canada.
I’m sure the next question is “How often?”. The Alberta EFP program has a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (an industry advisory group) that set the renewal period at 10 years. We are waiting to see if the renewal period becomes part of the harmonized national standard. If it does, we anticipate we will need to move the renewal period to 5 years or less in the future.
What does this mean for producers?
- If you want to apply for Growing Forward/CAP grants, you will need a current EFP.
- If a sustainable sourcing program requires it (e.g. the potato sustainability initiative), you will need a current EFP.
- If your completion letter is older than 10 years, you will need to do a new workbook and action plan.
- If you cannot find your completion letter, you will need to start and complete a new EFP to be considered current, regardless of the completion date; unless your EFP is online.
- Technicians cannot give out completion letters without doing a full review of a new EFP (both workbook and action plan).
Producers should use the online workbook! ~ Why?
- The online workbook does many of the calculations for you and carries data forward to other parts of the online workbook where needed.
- Future renewals will be easier. The data are stored online on a secure virtual private server accessible only to ARECA staff entrusted to deliver the EFP Program.
- When the next version change comes, your data will be migrated to the newest version, making updates easier and simpler.
- If available, you should use your original binder as a reference for your EFP renewal. Producers who have done this have told us putting the paper version online takes a few hours.
- If you cannot renew online, then you need to complete a new binder of the latest version.
How do I Renew?
- You can register to be assigned a technician in your area by following this link: http://www.albertaefp.com/start-an-efp
– Lisa Nadeau, www.albertaefp.com