The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario was founded in 1979 by innovative and forward-looking farmers at the cutting edge of developing ecological farming practices.
The growing recognition of the importance of ecological agriculture has coincided with an increase in the size, capacity and organizational health of EFAO. Our organization has never been in better shape. We have diverse and stable sources of funding. The range and quality of our programming and services continues to expand. And because we have farmers who can speak knowledgeably about the need for ecological and regenerative farming practices, staff who have a deep understanding of agricultural science, decades of experience in farmer-to-farmer training and more recent expertise in farmer-led research, we have become a trusted voice for ecological agriculture and innovative farming programs in Ontario and across the country.
EFAO is a strong and growing organization, but we still have a very long way to go to realize our vision of an Ontario where thriving ecological farms are the foundation of our food system, and where agriculture protects our resources, increases biodiversity, mitigates climate change, and cultivates resilient, diverse, equitable communities. Ecological farms still represent a tiny fraction of the agricultural landscape. Soil health continues to degrade across the province. Systemic racism and inequality prevail. The monumental environmental damage caused by agriculture will take decades to undo.
This five-year Strategic Plan will help guide our organization as we build on past successes, and as we confront the daunting challenges of the future. The strategic impact of this plan will be to double the number of ecological farmers and acres under ecological management by 2025.
To achieve this ambitious goal, EFAO must move beyond our traditional focus on capacity building and education for our member farmers, and work to create the conditions for broader adoption of ecological practices.
We will therefore focus on three Strategic Outcomes:
- Support EFAO members to run profitable, resilient ecological farms;
- Broaden adoption of ecological agriculture among other farmers; and
- Achieve provincial and federal policies that support ecological agriculture.
These outcomes will result from five Strategic Activities, some of which EFAO has been delivering for decades, and some that are new for the organization:
EFAO’s Programs & Activities (download pdf).
Together, these strategic impacts, outcomes and activities provide a high-level strategy for the next five years of EFAO’s growth and development. This strategy will be supported by strong Financial and Human Resources Plans, and a commitment to taking action on anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion in our work. A robust and comprehensive Evaluation Strategy will ensure that our programs and activities are leading to the impacts and objectives we have identified, and allow us to make continual improvement in our program delivery.
This Strategic Plan will help EFAO to make meaningful change at a large scale. The scale and urgency of the threat to our climate, environment and society demands that we act quickly and boldly.