Agri-food stakeholders are encouraged to register at www.nationalefp.ca
(Calgary, Alberta), September 12, 2016 – Plans for the first-ever National Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Summit are underway in response to growing consumer-driven demand for sustainably sourced food. Provincial and territorial EFP organizations aim to create a national program that will build a stronger link between the agriculture industry’s commitment to sustainable food production and the ever-increasing trend for global food companies to implement sustainable sourcing programs.
The National EFP Summit will connect stakeholders throughout the Canadian agri-food value chain to create a national program that meets the needs of producers who farm and ranch in a wide variety of agricultural climates, while at the same time ensuring consistency for buyers, regardless of where in Canada they source their product.
“The provincial and territorial EFP programs each have their own unique strengths that have already attracted several major buyers and have since been implemented as the environmental component within their sustainable sourcing programs,” said Paul Watson, Alberta EFP Program Director. “However, we recognize that a challenge still exists for buyers who are sourcing products from multiple Canadian regions. A national program will address this gap by ensuring consistency for sourcing sustainable products across Canada.”
National EFP Summit attendees will learn more about how the EFP operates at the provincial and territorial levels, and how it is currently being used as the environmental component in sector-specific sustainability programs such as the Dairy Farmers of Canada proAction Initiative, Verified Sustainable Beef and the North American Potato Sustainability Initiative. This will inform a path forward where stakeholders can lay the groundwork for a national program as it relates to the needs of buyers in Canada and around the world. It will also examine potential delivery models and engage stakeholders from farm to fork to further develop this producer-driven, made-in-Canada solution.
“We would encourage companies from across the value chain to register for the National EFP Summit to ensure they have the opportunity to be part of this important step forward. On behalf of my counterparts delivering the provincial and territorial EFP programs, we look forward to starting the dialogue to shape a national program that makes consistent, environmentally sustainable sourcing more accessible for buyers across Canada.”
The National EFP Summit is taking place on November 1-2 in Ottawa. Companies of all sizes across the agri-food value chain are encouraged to attend. More information including event registration and sponsorship opportunities can be found at www.nationalefp.ca.
The EFP is a voluntary program used to identify and build on environmental strengths, as well as mitigate risks, in farm and ranch operations across the country. This easily adaptable tool is currently delivered at the provincial level, creating an opportunity for producers to determine their readiness in relation to consumer-driven sustainability standards.
Paul Watson is the Alberta EFP program director. Since beginning his role with the Alberta EFP in 2015, he recognized the need for harmonization amongst the EFP programs across Canada to better serve the growing sustainable sourcing landscape. This recognition led to him taking on a leadership/facilitation role in kick-starting the National EFP harmonization process among the provincial programs.