|Jurisdiction||Government of the United Kingdom|
|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 a department of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the entire United Kingdom. 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 in October 2022:
|Therese Coffey MP||Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||Strategy and overall responsibility for departmental policy; water quality and security; food production and security; economic growth; international relations; senior appointments.|
|Mark Spencer MP||Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries||Farming; food; fisheries; agri-science and innovation; trade; lead for Rural Payments Agency (RPA), Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Marine Management Organisation (MMO), Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), and the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)|
|Trudy Harrison MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Land Use||Domestic natural environment, wildlife and land use; climate change adaptation; tree planting and forestry; landscapes, including National Parks and AONBs; access including rights of way and coastal paths; lead for Natural England, Forestry Commission and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)|
|Rebecca Pow MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environmental Quality and Resilience||Floods; water; resources and waste; air quality and noise; environment regulation, including chemicals; lead for Environment Agency (EA)|
|Lord Benyon||Minister of State for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs||Biosecurity and borders; Northern Ireland; animal welfare; marine and oceans; Defra delivery of Carbon Budgets and Net Zero; green finance; international nature and wildlife; rural affairs; lead for Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England (AHWBE) and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.|
The Permanent Secretary is Tamara Finkelstein, who replaced Clare Moriarty in 2019.
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:
Defra Headquarters are at 2, Marsham Street, London. It is also located at Nobel House, 17, Smith Square, London.