|Headquarters||2 Marsham Street, London|
|Annual budget||£2.2 billion (current) & £400 million (capital) for 2011-12|
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Concordats set out agreed frameworks for co operation, between it and the Scottish Government,Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive, which have devolved responsibilities for these matters in their respective nations.
Defra also leads for the United Kingdom on agricultural, fisheries and environmental matters in international negotiations on sustainable development and climate change, although a new Department of Energy and Climate Change was created on 3 October 2008 to take over the last responsibility; later transferred to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister in July 2016.
The department was formed in June 2001, under the leadership of Margaret Beckett, when the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) was merged with part of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and with a small part of the Home Office.
It was created after the perceived failure of MAFF, to deal adequately with an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. The department had about 9,000 core personnel, as of January 2008 [update] .
In October 2008, the climate team at Defra was merged with the energy team from the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), to create the Department of Energy and Climate Change, then headed by Ed Miliband.
The Defra Ministers are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. George Eustice MP||Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||Strategy and overall responsibility for departmental policy; Budget and finances; Legislative programme; Emergencies; international relations; Environment Agency and Natural England.|
|The Rt Hon. The Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park||Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment (jointly with FCDO)||international climate change, environment and conservation, biodiversity; oceans; Oceania; Blue Belt; COVID-19 issues related to animal welfare; agri-food trade (for negotiations); forestry policy: domestic and international; International Whaling Commission; international oceans; illegal wildlife trade; animal welfare; green recovery; trade including standards, market access and exports, geographical indicators; lead for Forestry Commission; House of Lords Minister for Environment, including Environment Bill.|
|Rebecca Pow MP||Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity||Domestic natural environment; 25 Year Environment Plan; Environment Bill; Climate change adaptation, co-ordination of Defra input to net zero, land use; Floods and water; Resource and environmental management (including waste, air quality, chemicals, litter); Commercial projects including Covent Garden Market and waste PFI projects; Lead for Environment Agency and Natural England; Commons Minister for rural affairs, landscape, and adaptation.|
|The Rt Hon. The Lord Benyon||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs & Biosecurity||All Defra parliamentary business in the House of Lords; Animal health and traceability; Bee health and National Pollinator Strategy; Biosecurity, including endemic and exotic plant and animal disease, invasive alien species and Kew Gardens; Landscape, including national parks, AONBs and access; Rural ambassador and rural affairs, covering rural life opportunities, broadband and mobile.|
|The Hon. Victoria Prentis MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||Food and farming, including CAP (Common Agricultural Policy); Brexit readiness; fisheries; bovine TB (tuberculosis) policy; trade; science and innovation; pesticides; better regulation; lead for Rural Payments Agency (RPA), the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Cefas , Marine Management Organisation (MMO); Commons Minister for biosecurity, plant health and animal disease.|
The Permanent Secretary is Tamara Finkelstein, who replaced Clare Moriarty in 2019.
Shadow ministers portfolios can differ from government departments therefore overlap.
Defra is responsible for British Government policy in the following areas
Some policies apply to England alone due to devolution, while others are not devolved and therefore apply to the United Kingdom as a whole.
The department's executive agencies are:
The department's key delivery partners are:
A full list of departmental delivery and public bodies may be found on the Defra website.
Policies for environment, food and rural affairs are delivered in the regions by Defra's executive agencies and delivery bodies, in particular Natural England, the Rural Payments Agency, Animal Health and the Marine Management Organisation.
Defra provides grant aid to the following flood and coastal erosion risk management operating authorities:
Defra's overarching aim is sustainable development, which is defined as "development which enables all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations." The Secretary of State wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister that he saw Defra’s mission as enabling a move toward what the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has called "one planet living".
Under this overarching aim, Defra has five strategic priorities:
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) was a United Kingdom government department created by the Board of Agriculture Act 1889 and at that time called the Board of Agriculture, and then from 1903 the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, and from 1919 the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It attained its final name in 1955 with the addition of responsibilities for the British food industry to the existing responsibilities for agriculture and the fishing industry, a name that lasted until the Ministry was dissolved in 2002, at which point its responsibilities had been merged into the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 2001 caused a crisis in British agriculture and tourism. This epizootic saw 2,000 cases of the disease in farms across most of the British countryside. Over 6 million cows and sheep were killed in an eventually successful attempt to halt the disease. Cumbria was the worst affected area of the country, with 893 cases.
The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) seeking to protect public health, animal health, the environment and promoting animal welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines in the United Kingdom.
The Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) was a civil service department of the Scottish Executive. SEERAD was responsible for the following areas in Scotland: agriculture, rural development, food, the environment and fisheries. Following the change of administration in May 2007, a restructuring exercise led to most SEERAD functions being continued under the new Scottish Executive Environment Directorate.
The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) was an executive agency of the UK government branch, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is now part of the Food and Environment Research Agency, which is in turn part of DEFRA.
The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It carries out a wide range of research, advisory, consultancy, monitoring and training activities for a large number of customers around the world.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, often shortened to simply GIZ, is a German development agency headquartered in Bonn and Eschborn that provides services in the field of international development cooperation and international education work. GIZ's main commissioning party is Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Other commissioners include European Union institutions, the United Nations, the private sector, and governments of other countries. In its projects GIZ works with partners in national governments, actors from the private sector, civil society and research institutions. It is the organization's self-declared goal to deliver effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.
A food safety agency or food administration is a kind of agency found in various countries and international organizations with responsibilities related to food, primarily with ensuring the safety of food sold or distributed to the population, and with ensuring that food sellers inform the population of the origins and health qualities and risks associated with food being sold.
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is a government department in the Northern Ireland Executive, the devolved administration for Northern Ireland. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. The department was called the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development between 1999 and 2016 and was previously known as the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland or the Ministry of Agriculture. The department's Permanent Secretary is Denis McMahon
Deborah Reynolds CB served as the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the United Kingdom from March 2004 until she retired in November 2007. She is usually referred to as Debby Reynolds, or less often as Deborah Reynolds.
The National Bee Unit (NBU) runs Bee Health Programmes in England and Wales. The NBU consists of around 60 field-based Bee Inspectors and staff based in Sand Hutton, North Yorkshire.
The Marine Institute is a State agency in Ireland that provides government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory and economic development services, aiming to inform policy-making, regulation and the sustainable management and growth of the country’s marine resources. Founded in 1991 on foot of a 1974 report, the Institute undertakes, coordinates and promotes marine research and development, which is essential to achieving a sustainable ocean economy, protecting ecosystems and inspiring a shared understanding of the ocean. The agency is governed by a ministerially-appointed board and has a professional staff, a headquarters near Galway, an office in Dublin, and two research vessels.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is a government ministry responsible for rural development and the governance, promotion and nurturing of agriculture and the agriculture industry, in Vietnam. The purview of the Ministry includes forestry, aquaculture, irrigation and the salt industry; it is also involved in water management and flood control.
An executive agency is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetarily separate, to carry out some part of the executive functions of the United Kingdom government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government or Northern Ireland Executive. Executive agencies are "machinery of government" devices distinct both from non-ministerial government departments and non-departmental public bodies, each of which enjoy a real legal and constitutional separation from ministerial control. The model was also applied in several other countries.
The Scottish Government Rural Affairs, Environment and Services Directorates were a group of civil service Directorates in the Scottish Government until a December 2010 re-organisation.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for proposing and carrying out the government policy on agricultural, livestock and fishery resources, food industry, rural development and human food. The Ministry is responsible for assigning Veterinary Surgeons to carry out checks in regard to the issuing of REGA Licences a requirement for the ownership of horses on Spanish property and small holdings.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), formerly known as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of the United Kingdom.
The Australian Department of Agriculture was an Australian Government department in existence between May 2019 and February 2020, which was responsible for developing and implementing policies and programmes that contribute to strengthening Australia's primary industries, delivering better returns for primary producers at the farm gate, protecting Australia from animal and plant pests and diseases, and improving the health of Australia's rivers and freshwater ecosystems.